On Thursday June 4th, President Obama nominated Anne S Ferro to be the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
FMCSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation which has the responsibility of overseeing and regulating the safety of commercial motor vehicles (trucks and buses) and the men and women who drive trucks and the motorists and their families who share the road with commercial vehicles. In essence, Ferro will be in charge of the agency whose primary mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. She will have to be confirmed by the Senate before she can hold the nominated position.
Anne Ferro is presently the president of the Maryland Motor Truck Association and prior to that she served as Maryland Motor Vehicle (MMV) administrator.
When She was asked by a publication why she took the job of president and CEO of the MMTA she replied, “After spending so many years in government I wanted to learn about the private sector. And the other reason is — I love trucks,” she said.
As MMTA chief she said her priority was simple: “ … to advocate for the [trucking] industry,” adding that most people “have an opinion about [commercial] trucks — they don’t like them. We have to work to change that.”
As with all things in life, there are people who are for the nomination of Anne Ferro and those who are opposed. In general Trucking officials were supportive, safety advocacy groups were opposed.
Here are some of the statements from those who support the nomination of Anne S Ferro as Administrator of the FMCSA:
“Ms. Ferro’s extensive experience in promoting driver, vehicle and highway safety will serve the nation well. As administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehcile Administration she developed a reputation as a tough, but fair regulator,” said Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations.
In addition to her intelligence, “her personal skills are absolutely outstanding,” said Joe Cowan, president of Cowan Systems, Maryland’s largest trucking company.
“Based on her background and her experience in a cross-section of positions that deal with commercial vehicles she should have a well-rounded [outlook] … and may very well be a good administrator,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
Other advocates for the nomination are:
John Haulsladen, president of the Minnesota Trucking Association
Jim Runk, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck
Dale Bennett, executive vice president of the Virginia Trucking Association
Lane Kidd, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association
John Hill, Former Chief Administrator of FMCSA
Those opposed to the nomination include:
James P. Hoffa
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Truck Safety Coalition
Daphne Izer Jennifer Tierney
Founder Board Member and Director, North Carolina
Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.) Survivors Network
Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways
The Truck Safety Coalition is a partnership between The Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Foundation, and Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T). The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public, policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.
Teamsters and The Truck Safety Coalition have written a Letter in Opposition to the Nomination of Ms. Anne Ferro to head FMCSA
The Teamsters union told President Barack Obama it opposes his nominee to be the top U.S. trucking regulator because of her support for a rule that allows truckers to drive for up to 11 consecutive hours. Anne Ferro is the wrong person to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration because of her “trucking-industry party line,”
The letter also stated that Ferro defends the current Hours of Service and therefore suggests a “stay-the course attitude.”
“We firmly believe that the individual appointed to this agency should not come from the very industry the agency is required to regulate, especially given the trucking industry’s positions on these health and safety issues,” the letter stated. “Ms. Ferro consistently supports the trucking industry party-line on motor carrier issues in opposition to positions taken by consumer, health and safety groups, truck crash victims and their families and the hard-working men and women who drive trucks. We cannot support a candidate who represents the Bush Administration ‘status quo’ rather than embracing your call for change.”
So there you have it, the pros and cons of the nomination of Anne S Ferro as the Administrator of the FMCSA . What do you think? We’d like to know your opinion.
© 2009, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.