Recently, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a confirmation hearing to consider the President’s nomination of T.F. Scott Darling, III to serve as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator.
This would be a position that comes with great responsibility if selected. The FMCSA presently oversees over 4 million active commercial drivers’ license holders, more than 12,000 bus companies and 500,000 motor carriers, including trucking companies, household goods movers, and hazardous materials carriers.
Since the FMCSA was established 15 years ago, the number of lives lost in commercial motor vehicle-related crashes has decreased 26 percent. These numbers represent progress, but the sad fact remains that more than 4,000 people die each year in crashes with large truck and buses. If chosen to lead the agency, Darling says he hopes to change that and continue striving to make America’s roadways even safer.
If you’ve not heard of him until now, here’s some background information on a man who’s dedicated his life to public safety:
- On August 5, 2015, President Obama nominated Darling, III to be the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- He joined FMCSA in September 2012 upon his appointment by the President as Chief Counsel.
- He joined the FMCSA from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the public transit agency serving the greater Boston area, where he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant General Counsel.
- He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Clark University, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Tufts University, and a Juris Doctor’s degree from Suffolk University.
During the confirmation hearing, Darling laid out his goals for the future if selected to fulfil the role of the FMCSA’s administrator. They are to:
- Work to put in place dozens of FAST Act provisions to establish new programs and procedures, create working groups, and conduct research.
- Streamline the agency’s grant programs to give states increased flexibility to tailor funding to conditions on the ground.
- Continue taking comments from stakeholders and the public on an incentive program to encourage carriers to adopt cutting edge safety technology and practices.
- Continue helping the country’s veterans successfully transition out of the military to careers in transportation.
Darling also told the Senate committee that this year’s priorities include addressing the controversial hours of service (HOS) restart, creating a national drug clearing house, proceeding with rulemaking on speed limiters for tractor trailers and looking at a new safety evaluation and rating system.
So far, the committee has not yet voted to confirm Darling. Some have praised him for his quick work in implementing portions of the FAST Act, such as removing CSA scores from public view while the system is being revamped, and encouraged him to continue to work in implementing all aspects of the legislation. A few days ago, Commerce Committee Chairman Jon Thrune told American Trucking Association newspaper Transport Topics that some senators have questions about Darlings “depth of experience.”
In our opinion, Darling would be an excellent choice to head the FMCSA. He is a man who’s proven that he’s dedicated to helping save lives and making the roads Americans drive on less dangerous.