Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in all but name for 16 months, T.F. Scott Darling III has finally been accorded a confirmation hearing for the post of FMSCA Administrator, which he was nominated to by President Obama back in August.
Darling has been called by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to provide testimony on his nomination on Wednesday, January 20 at 10:00 a.m.
Currently holding the title of FMCSA Chief Counsel, Darling had been referred to as the agency’s acting administrator from the time former Administrator Anne Ferro departed the post in August, 2014, until late last March. At that time, the Department of Transportation announced that Darling’s acting title was “ending,” but added that Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx had delegated him, as chief counsel, with “responsibility for performing the duties of the FMCSA administrator.”
In a written reply to the Senate committee’s nomination questionnaire, Darling stated that he considers the first of FMCSA’s top three initiatives to be “increasing truck and bus safety, period.”
Next, he cited improving FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, and Accountability. “CSA is the cornerstone of FMCSA’s oversight program to improve truck and bus safety, and helps target limited resources towards identifying and stopping the highest risk carriers operating on our Nation’s roads.”
Darling wrote that the third key initiative is to improve the accuracy and collection of data critical to informing rulemakings, programs, and enforcement actions. “Agency actions must connect to what’s happening in the motor carrier industry and on roads and highways. Our actions must be based on data and accepted analytical practices. Robust data collection enables greater attention to high risk carriers and helps to reduce large truck and bus crashes, injuries, and fatalities.”
Darling was appointed the agency’s chief counsel in September 2012 by President Obama.
Prior to joining FMCSA, he held the posts of deputy chief of staff and assistant general counsel at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the public transit agency serving the greater Boston area. Darling also served previously as the MBTA's environmental and land use counsel as well as its privacy administrator.