The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation to seek the resignation of the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
At the urging of its members, the OOIDA board of directors unanimously voted to ask Secretary Anthony Foxx to request that FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro leave her position at FMCSA.
“We have asked the secretary to put into place new leadership at FMCSA,” said the President and CEO of OOIDA, Jim Johnston. “The agency needs to be headed by someone who will approach professional truck drivers with the respect and fair treatment that their important work and commitment to safety demand.”
In its letter to Sec. Foxx, OOIDA cited past and present examples of Administrator Ferro’s failure to perform her duties impartially, her failure to lead her agency to fulfill Congressional mandates, and her failure to responsibly prioritize the agency’s tasks.
"Recent statements by the Administrator, especially a June 3, 2014 posting on the Department’s official blog “Fast Lane” spelled out clearly that FMCSA, and the Administrator herself, view truckers not as committed professionals but as accidents waiting to happen, and that the only way to prevent these accidents is through more rules, more enforcement, and the continued treatment of truckers as a whole as if they are criminally negligent," Johnston said in the letter.
Johnston also noted FMCSA's "high-priority" efforts to introduce a rulemaking to increase minimum levels of insurance for motor carriers.
"No study anywhere shows a connection betweenhigher insurance levels and safety performance by a motor carrier, nor would any insurance company agree that their products promote safety as that is not the purpose of having insurance in the first place," he said.
Johnston contrasted that fast-paced initiative with the agency's "snail-paced" response to a 20-year-old request from Congress for action on entry-level driver training standards, something Johnston says would have a real impact on highway safety.
"The quick action on the insurance issue, while training continues to be a non-priority for FMCSA, is a clear sign of Administrator Ferro’s inability to properly prioritize the tasks before the agency that will result in real safety improvements," the letter states.
The full letter can be read here.