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FHWA Order 7500.lB

Order
Subject
SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD
Classification Code Date Office of Primary Interest
7500.lB November 22,1988 FHWA

Par.

  1. Purpose

  2. Cancellation

  3. Scope

  4. Background

  5. Responsibilities

  6. Procedures

  1. PURPOSE. To prescribe Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)responsibilities and procedures for acting on and responding to safety recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and for periodically reviewing the relationships between the NTSB,the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), and the FHWA.

  2. CANCELLATION. FHWA Order 7500.lA, Safety Recommendations and Activities of the National Transportation Safety Board, dated April 1, 1983, is cancelled.

  3. SCOPE. This Order applies to FHWA Washington Headquarters, regional and division offices which review, comment, or prepare responses for NTSB safety recommendations.

  4. BACKGROUND

    1. Title III of the Transportation Safety Act of 1974 established the NTSB as an independent agency and vestedthe NTSB with the authority to:

        (1) investigate transportation accidents and determine their probable cause;

        (2) request accident investigation assistance from the heads of other agencies;

        (3) conduct special studies or investigations pertaining to transportation safety;

        (4) make safety recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation or heads of operating administrations and other groups for the prevention and investigation of accidents;

        (5) evaluate and assess the transportation safety consciousness and effectiveness of other Government agencies charged by law with responsibility in this field; and

        (6) report to Congress, including an annual appraisal, evaluation, and review of transportation safety with recommendations for legislative and administrative action.

    2. In accordance with Sections 25 and 204 of the Interstate Commerce Act, the FHWA has independent authority to conduct or participate in the investigation of certain transportation accidents. In addition, pursuant to Section 304(a)(1) of the Transportation Safety Act of 1974, the FHWA may be delegated investigation authority as a result of requests from the NTSB to the Secretary of Transportation to investigate certain accidents. Finally, the FHWA may participate in certain accident investigations as a result of an interagency agreement with the NTSB.

    3. Department of Transportation (DOT) Order 2000.1C, "Department of Transportation Procedures for Handling National Transportation Safety Board Recommendations," dated June 13, 1988, provides uniform procedures for acting on and responding to NTSB safety recommendations. It also provides for quarterly and annual reports to the Secretary of Transportation regarding relationships with the NTSB.

  5. RESPONSIBILITIES

    1. Associate Administrator for Safety and Operations. The Associate Administrator for Safety and Operations- is responsible for liaison and coordination relating to NTSB safety recommendation and accident investigation activities and for:

        (1) assuring coordinated responses to NTSB safety recommendations issued to the FHWA;

        (2) coordinating those highway accident investigation activities of the FHWA performed in accordance with the interagency agreement between the Department of Transportation (DOT), and operating administrations, and the NTSB;

        (3) carrying out liaison with DST on safety subjects involving NTSB safety recommendations; and

        (4) preparing quarterly and annual reports to OST.

    2. Associate Administrators and Staff Office.Directors. Associate Administrators and Staff Office Directors, as a result of the responsibilities of their office, may be designated by the Associate Administrator for Safety and Operations as the primary respondent for an NTSB safety recommendation. When so designated, they will be responsible for:

        (1) developing an appropriate course of action,

        (2) coordinating with other involved offices,

        (3) preparing a proposed response to the NTSB, and

        (4) assuring that actions initiated in response to a safety recommendation are accomplished in a timely manner.

    3. Regional and Division Administrators, Regional Directors of motor Carrier Safety, and Motor Carrier Safety a e Directors/Officers-In-Charge. Regional and Division Administrators, Regional Directors of Motor Carrier Safety, and Motor Carrier Safety State Directors/ Officers-In-Charge are responsible for:

        (1) reviewing and commenting, as appropriate, on safety recommendations referred specifically to them, and

        (2) maintaining liaison with States as may be necessary to monitor NTSB highway safety recommendations and investigations impacting upon FHWA jurisdictions and responsibilities.

  6. PROCEDURES

    1. Washington Headquarters. Prompt and coordinated actionwill be given to every NTSB safety recommendation assigned to the FHWA.

        (1) All NTSB safety recommendations formally addressed to the Federal Highway Administrator will be routed to the Associate Administrator for Safety and Operations who will serve as the control point for responding to these recommendations.

        (2) The Associate Administrator for Safety and Operations will arrange with other Washington Headquarters offices, as appropriate, for the preparation of responses to NTSB recommendations or, when the NTSB requests, participation in highway accident investigations. This includes designation of a single office to act as the primary respondent to develop a unified FHWA response.

        (3) The primary respondent will develop a proposed response to the NTSB safety recommendation and forward it to the Associate Administrator forSafety and Operations. In order to develop a unified FHWA response, it may be' necessary for the primary respondent to obtain information or coordinate with other Washington Headquarters or field offices. The proposed response will describe the action the FHWA has taken or plans to take as a result of the NTSB safety recommendation. If the safety recommendation is adopted only in part or is totally rejected, the response shall indicate in detail the reasons for such a decision. A timetable is to be included whenever any part of a proposed action has not been completed unless the NTSB safety recommendation is totally rejected.

        (4) The Associate Administrator for Safety and Operations will review all proposed responses from Washington Headquarters offices for adequacy and compliance with DOT and FHWA procedures, and will coordinate the final reply within the FHWA.

        (5) The Associate Administrator for Safety and Operations will maintain such records and files as necessary to carry out these procedures effec tively, and prepare the quarterly and annual reports as required by DOT Order 2000.lC.

    2. Field Offices. Although responses to NTSB safety recommendations are developed in the Washington Headquarters, specific field offices may be requested by Washington Headquarters to provide input for responses to NTSB safety recommendations that relate to their geographic responsibilities. Regional and Division Administrators will promptly review and comment on those safety recommendations referred to them.
 

Robert E. Farris
Federal Highway Administrator

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000