Confusion about the status of truck safety enforcement disrupts business at the Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety, but program manager Julie Cirillo said she is trying to keep her staff focused on its safety mission.
"When you have so much uncertainty, people are on pins and needles . . . but by and large we will do the things we need to do," she said.
The uncertainty arises from a legislative snafu that could force OMCHS to stop assessing fines for safety violations, and stop working with federal prosecutors in civil and criminal cases (see related story above).
Cirillo's biggest concern is that she could be forced to default in ongoing cases against alleged safety violators. If enforcers must suspend their work with prosecutors, they will miss deadlines - and that will lead to cases being dropped, Cirillo said.
Most of OMCHS's work will continue, no matter what happens. The 600-person staff will continue to be paid, and the bulk of the enforcement effort will be maintained, Cirillo said.
"Still, it's pretty disruptive," she added. "But we're focusing on doing what's in front us."