Truck Writers of North America
March 25, 2010
Anne S. Ferro
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Good morning and welcome to our first listening session to gather views and comments on a new proposed hours-of-service rule.
I'd also like to extend a special welcome to those of you listening in by phone or viewing us on the web.
We have three more sessions like this one to follow - all will be held before the end of January.
The second will be in Dallas on January 22; the third is in Los Angeles on January 25; and finally, we are pleased to announce that the fourth listening session will be in Davenport, Iowa on January 28 - located near two truck stops along Interstate 80.
You can check out the FMCSA web site for all the details on exact locations.
If you have friends, neighbors, coworkers and colleagues in those areas, ask them to attend.
Comments on the proposed rule are also accepted by mail, fax and online.
Our goal today is to hear what you think - the good, the bad and the ugly - whether you are a safety advocate, enforcement official, truck company owner, truck driver or a member of the general public.
We want to hear from you.
I have been at the FMCSA for a little over two months but my background in this industry and elsewhere in public service has given me the ability to respect opinions, have an open mind and be responsive.
I take seriously the absolute obligation we have as a federal agency to develop a new rule on hours-of-service that mirrors our three core priorities.
These three priorities drive all we do at FMCSA.
- Raise the bar to enter the industry;
- Maintain high safety standards to remain in the industry; and
- Remove high-risk operators from our roads and highways.
Given these priorities, we can and must do better. One fatality on the road is one too many.
Using our priorities as a guide, we have an opportunity to take a fresh look at this critical safety issue. And you will have the opportunity to be a part in some shape or form of the entire process.
We are in a very special period in history. The Obama Administration has vowed a new era of open government.
We pledge to be transparent in what we do. But, we need you to lend us your experience and expertise to shape rules such as hours-of-service.
The Obama Administration believes the Federal government should lead the charge for better transportation in the country - but we cannot do it alone.
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday our nation celebrated yesterday once said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
We all want the safest roads, the safest drivers and the safest vehicles. And, to achieve that goal, we need your voice to be heard.
With that in mind, let's work together to bring our thoughts and ideas to the table to develop a fresh look at hours-of-service.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to be here and take part in today's discussion.