National transportation safety board expected in two years: official

Taipei, The government is seeking to establish a multi-module commission responsible for conducting independent investigations of major accidents involving land, sea and air transport within a two-year timeframe, Young Hong-tsu (???), chairman of the Aviation Safety Council (ASC), said Thursday.

The Cabinet approved that day an amendment to the Organic Law of the ASC to transform the board tasked with investigating aviation incidents involving civil aircraft, public aircraft, and ultralight vehicles, into one that probes marine, railway, highway and aviation transportation incidents.

The proposed amendment, along with changes to the amendment to the Aviation Occurrence Investigation Act, will be sent to the Legislature for review and is expected to be passed before the end of the current session, Young said.

After the Legislature passes the amendments, personnel and resources for an investigation module for railway accidents will be deployed in one year, for maritime accidents in one-and-a-half years, and for highway accidents in two years, Young said at a press conference following the Cabinet meeting.

The ASC, established in 1998, is an independent commission currently staffed by a 25-member team, Yang said, adding that the number of staff under a national transportation safety commission is expected to increase to 100.

The proposals came in the wake of the crash of a Puyuma express train in Yilan County last month that killed 18 people and left 210 injured, the deadliest railway accident in the country in nearly three decades.

The government is hopeful that the transformation will promote transportation safety through independent, objective, professional and transparent investigation into major occurrences because it will be able to look into not only the immediate cause of accidents but also "root causes that could be associated with management deficiencies or flaws in rules and regulations," Young said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel