President Obama intends to nominate Mark Rosekind of the National Transportation Safety Board to the top job at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Rosekind is a noted fatigue scientist who has studied truck driver hours of service rules and supported tougher screening for sleep disorders among drivers.
His portfolio at NHTSA, if he is confirmed, would cover equipment regulations rather than driver-oriented rules. Among the top trucking items on the agency’s agenda are a rule to require speed limiters on new heavy trucks, and proposed fuel efficiency standards.
Rosekind has served at NTSB for the past four years. The board’s job is to investigate crashes and propose safety solutions to the various regulatory agencies, including NHTSA.
Before he joined NTSB, Rosekind was president and chief scientist of Alertness Solutions, which provides fatigue management programs, among other lines of business. He has a Ph.D. from Yale University.
At NHTSA he would fill the vacancy left by Administrator David Strickland, who left about a year ago.
NHTSA has been under fire on Capitol Hill following complaints that it was slow to react to potentially hazardous ignition switches in some GM cars, and to lethal defects in air bags manufactured by Takata Corp.
Rosekind’s nomination will be reviewed by the Senate Commerce Committee. Sen. John Thune is the ranking Republican member of the committee and is in line to take over the chairmanship from Sen. Jay Rockefeller when the Republicans take control of the Senate next year.
“There is much to be done at NHTSA, and I look forward to sitting down with Dr. Rosekind to hear more about his plans to address the rising number of motor vehicle safety recalls,” Thune said in a statement.