WASHINGTON — Anne S. Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), said today her agency was obligated to develop a new Hours of Service rule that mirrored the agency’s three core priorities — raising the bar to enter the industry, maintaining high safety standards to remain in the industry and removing high-risk operators from the nation’s roads and highways.
“Given these priorities, we can and must do better,” Ferro said. “One fatality on the road is one too many.”
Ferro made her remarks at the beginning of the first of four listening sessions to gather information for writing a new HOS rule.
As part of a settlement in a suit filed against FMCSA by safety advocate groups, FMCSA has agreed to issue a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking this year with a Final Rule to be issued within 21 months of the date of settlement last October.
“Using our priorities as a guide, we have an opportunity to take a fresh look at this critical safety issue,” Ferro told those at the session. “And you will have the opportunity to be a part in some shape or form of the entire process. We are in a very special period in history. The Obama administration has vowed a new era of open government. We pledge to be transparent in what we do.”
Ferro said the goal of the session today and those in the future is to “hear what you think — the good, the bad and the ugly — whether you are a safety advocate, enforcement official, truck company owner, truck driver or a member of the general public.”
Ferro said the Obama administration believed the federal government should lead the charge for better transportation in the country, but said her agency could not do it alone.
“Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday our nation celebrated Monday once said, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter, ‘” Ferro said. “We all want the safest roads, the safest drivers and the safest vehicles. And to achieve that goal, we need your voice to be heard. With that in mind, let's work together to bring our thoughts and ideas to the table to develop a fresh look at HOS.”
Future listening sessions are schedule Friday, Jan. 22 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas Forth Worth Airport in Irving, Texas; Monday, Jan. 25 at the Doubletree Hotel Los Angeles International Airport and Thursday, Jan. 28 at the Comfort Inn Hotel and Suites in Davenport, Iowa.
Barb Kampbell of The Trucker staff may be reached to comment at email@example.com.