News release

New Transportation Safety Board Watchlist calls for action

Gatineau, Quebec, 14 June 2012—Calling for action on the most critical safety issues facing Canada's transportation system, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its new Watchlist.

"In 2010, the TSB's first Watchlist became a blueprint for progress," said Wendy Tadros, Chair of the TSB. "Transport Canada and industry acted together and today significant progress has been made on many of these important safety issues."

In announcing its new Watchlist, Tadros added, "We've removed issues where the risk has been reduced, and left issues on the list where little or no progress has been made. The new Watchlist also features several emerging challenges—challenges that will need to be tackled to make Canada's transportation system safer."

The Board reported progress in six key areas: emergency preparedness on ferries; voyage data recorders on vessels; the operation of longer, heavier trains; crashworthy data recorders on trains; advances in rail safety management systems; and planned improvements for cockpit voice recorders.

"The TSB found on some issues there has been little or no change," said Tadros. "In aviation, planes continue to run off our runways, or to collide with land and water. In the marine world, far too many Canadian fishermen are being lost to sea every year. In rail, the TSB still responds to far too many crossings accidents in our busiest rail corridor."

Two new Watchlist challenges come from what the TSB is learning in its passenger rail investigations, like the one into the deadly derailment in Burlington, Ontario. "We know that when rail signals are not followed, we are at high risk for a serious accident," said Tadros. "We need more defences built into the rail system—for the safety of everyone. This includes making sure we have recorders in locomotive cabs so investigators will be able to understand what happened and why."

"Canadians deserve the safest transportation system in the world, along our waterways, on our railways and in our skies," noted Tadros. "To make this a reality, we are calling on Transport Canada and industry leaders to take action on the critical safety issues in this new Watchlist."

The items currently identified on the TSB Watchlist are:

2012 Watchlist issues




The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053