The Senate late last week confirmed safety veteran John Hill as chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

President Bush nominated Hill after former administrator Annette Sandberg stepped down at the end of April. Before he came to agency as Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator in 2003, Hill was an officer in the Indiana State Police.

At his confirmation hearing, Hill said that he has dedicated his professional life to traffic safety. He said he is committed to strong leadership at FMCSA, to erasing the backlog of pending rules and to holding agency executives accountable for results. He also said he believes strongly that an effective truck and bus safety program requires cooperation and communication between the federal agency and the states.

In a statement, Acting Transportation Secretary Maria Cino said, “John Hill possesses decades of experience in law enforcement and commercial motor vehicle safety. We appreciate that the Senate made it a priority to confirm John before their recess and I know he will be an exceptional FMCSA administrator.”

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance, American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association all supported Hill’s nomination.

Before coming to Washington, Hill spent 29 years in law enforcement with the Indiana State Police. He twice served as commander of the ISP’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, and also commanded the Field Enforcement and Logistics Divisions.

He also was active in national transportation affairs, serving on the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems Committee and on an American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators task force on identification security. In addition, he was chair of AAMVA’s International Law Enforcement Committee, and served on the AAMVAnet board, which is responsible for the Commercial Drivers License Information System.