Heavy Duty Trucking

AUG 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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Page 15 of 109

14 HDT • AUGUST 2014 www.truckinginfo.com which are necessary to improve safety on our nation's highways, will be her legacy." Lane Kidd, managing director of the Alliance, said he hopes the Obama administration will nominate a replacement who "will turn up the volume even more in order to get the truck safety initiatives completed that Anne has been promoting." Another positive view came from Robert Voltmann, president and CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association. TIA has strongly contested the agency's handling of CSA safety data, and Volt- mann said the group has not always seen "eye to eye" with Ferro. Yet, he added, "Ferro has been one of the most fair and open of FMCSA administrators. [She] has always been receptive to the opinions of others. She has served our country well, and we wish her every success in her new role." American Trucking As- sociations, whose relations with Ferro have soured lately in the combat over the 34-hour provision of the new hours of service rule, simply acknowledged that Ferro has been a "passionate advocate" for her agency and wished her well. Jim Johnston, president and CEO of the Owner- Operator Independent Drivers Association, said Ferro "is well known for having unprecedented personal outreach and engagement with truckers in all the years that we have worked with the agency." This amounted to a mixed message, considering that just a month ago the OOIDA board called for Ferro's ouster. "The agency needs to be headed by someone who will approach professional truck drivers with the respect and fair treatment that their important work and commit- ment to safety demand," the board said in its call for the administrator to step down. To illustrate the industry's ambivalence about a strong FMCSA regulator, shortly after the OOIDA board's shot, a smaller group of OOIDA members said they support Ferro. Ferro has made an extraordinary effort to reach out to the industry by conducting listening sessions at truck shows and truckstops, and answering calls on radio shows, they said. "We believe these actions demonstrate the extra effort she puts forth to gain the knowledge she needs to make some very tough deci- sions," they said. "By actually mingling with the blue-collar people in the industry, she has fostered a unique safety culture in our industry. Never before the introduction of [the] CSA program, has safety been on the lips of so many industry leaders and professional drivers." Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Ferro's departure "with great disappointment." "Anne has been a true leader in safety throughout her time at [the Department of Transportation] and has become a trusted advisor and friend to me during my time as secretary," Foxx said. Ferro also had her share of contention on Capitol Hill. She responded strongly to Rep. Richard Hanna's assertion that the agency's commitment to zero fa- talities is an ideology rather than a solution. Accidents are inevitable and there is no point in trying to drive the truck-related fatality rate down to zero, the New York Republican said. Ferro defended the agency's approach, arguing that zero fatalities is not an ideology but an aspirational goal. One issue that Ferro will leave behind is the question of the impact of trucking's business model on safety. Since her Senate confirmation hearing in 2009, Ferro has talked about how uncompensated drivers' time impacts safety. This concern led to a provision in the administra- tion's proposal for the next highway program that would require carriers to pay drivers at least the federal minimum wage for time waiting to be loaded or unloaded. "We are seeking to change that compensation model so drivers receive fair wages for every hour they spend working — including time detained unloading and loading at the mercy of shippers and receivers," she said. That provision is a long way from becoming law, but Ferro can be credited with getting the debate started. Ferro will become president and CEO of the Ameri- can Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators when she leaves FMCSA. This move brings her career to full circle. Immedi- ately before she came to FMCSA she was president and CEO of the Maryland Motor Truck Association, and before that she was chief of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. As HDT went to press there was no word on who the Obama administration will nominate to replace Ferro. WASHINGTONreport "The agency needs to be headed by someone who will approach professional truck drivers with the respect and fair treatment that their important work and commitment to safety demand." – Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association 8

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