DOT Secretary Norman Mineta announced in late November that Joseph Clapp, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, planned to retire from the U.S. Department of Transportation at the end of 2002.
Mineta also announced that Annette Sandberg is FMCSA’s deputy administrator, effective immediately. Sandberg has served as deputy administrator of the Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since Feb. 11. She was charged with leading FMCSA on an acting basis following Clapp departure.
Sandberg may be nominated eventually to replace Clapp as administrator. A DOT spokesman confirmed Mineta’s comments to industry publication Transport Topics that the person appointed as deputy administrator would then “occupy” Clapp’s job after he leaves, assuming Senate confirmation. It’s unclear, however, whether “occupy” means just acting administrator.
Mineta said Sandberg brings vast experience to the job. “The leadership she demonstrated in NHTSA helped improve highway safety in this country and now we are asking her to help reduce truck-related fatalities,” he said.
Clapp became the first administrator of FMCSA Oct. 4, 2001.
“As the leader of the FMCSA, he brought considerable private-sector experience to bear on a number of key issues facing the industry at a critical time in our nation’s history,” Mineta said. “I know he is looking forward to resuming the retirement he was enjoying before his call to service.” Clapp retired in 1995 after serving as chairman of Roadway Services, Akron, Ohio.
After his appointment at FMCSA, Clapp focused on meeting transportation safety requirements for implementing the truck and bus provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement. During his tenure, FMCSA met or exceeded 22 different safety requirements set out in the 2002 Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. These requirements included hiring, training and placing 274 safety personnel along the border, establishing new inspection facilities, and creating a strict safety regimen.
Regulations published while Clapp was administrator included a final rule that strengthened the licensing requirements and sanctions in the commercial driver’s license program. Another rule established a new safety audit process for U.S. and Canadian motor carriers entering the market after Jan. 1, 2003.
Sandberg was the chief of the Washington State Patrol for six years and is a nationally recognized expert on law enforcement and traffic safety. She spent more than 17 years in law enforcement, supervisory and administrative posts – some of which included responsibility for motor carrier safety – with the Washington State Patrol.
Sandberg has a law degree from the University of Puget Sound School of Law and earned a master’s of business administration from City University, Bellevue, Wash., graduating magna cum laude.