Anthony Foxx, who most recently served as the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been confirmed as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation. In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate approved Foxx’s nomination in a 100-0 vote following a relatively smooth confirmation process.
Following the Senate vote, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) put out a press release congratulating Foxx on his confirmation.
“ATA is and will continue to be open and eager to assisting Secretary-to-be Foxx as he moves into his new role,” ATA Chairman Mike Card said. “As an industry we share his stated goal of having the world’s safest, most efficient transportation network.”
When he was first nominated, Foxx’s credentials had been questioned by some media commentators, who noted that he has little in the way of direct experience in the transportation sector. However, the former mayor’s involvement with large-scale public transit projects in Charlotte has been held up as evidence of his readiness to head the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
During a confirmation hearing before members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Foxx said that “ensuring that our transportation system is the safest in the world will be [his] top priority.” This signals that the DOT will see a substantial level of continuity in terms of policy, as outgoing Secretary Ray LaHood also made vehicular safety a cornerstone of his time in office.
Foxx has also expressed support for new infrastructure development. However, the incoming secretary told lawmakers that he believes it is important for the government to focus on doing what it can to improve the “efficiency and performance of our existing transportation system” before expanding road, rail and other networks through new construction projects.
Broader deployment of GPS technology will support secretary’s goals
There is only so much that the government can do to support safety and efficiency in the nation’s transportation sector. This is particularly true in the automotive sector, as individual drivers have a high level of autonomy and top-down regulation may have a limited impact.
Making significant progress on improving the safety of the nation’s roads demands an approach that addresses conditions at the ground level. For instance, companies that operate sizable vehicle fleets can bolster the safety of their personnel – and the countless motorists with which they share the streets – by implementing a fleet management system.
With GPS tracking devices installed in its vehicles, an organization can monitor its operations in real time and intervene directly in cases where drivers are found to be engaging in speeding or other risky behaviors.
Vehicle tracking software can also aid fleet managers in making their operations more efficient by ensuring that drivers are always able to take the shortest possible routes to their destinations, even in cases where main throughways are rendered inaccessible by weather, construction activity or other disruptions.
© 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.