14-hour, ELD reform should be top priority for new FMCSA administrator, readers say

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Updated Oct 2, 2017

In response to the news that current New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commissioner Raymond Martinez, under Chris Christie, would be tapped to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there was no shortage of this sort of commentary, as is usual when a career bureaucrat takes the reins of an organization with quite a lot of influence on the trucking community. Here’s Brad, commenting under the news of Martinez’ pick at OverdriveOnline.com: “Hey Trump! How about an owner-operator who knows something about the trucking industry and what it needs — not a favor to Christie for backing you. Hope next election you don’t get drained with the swamp you’re supporting.”

And longtime driver Steven Kirby: “I have been driving since 1983. I strongly believe that all every single FMCSA employee needs to have at least 2 years [experience on in the road in] all weather, coast to coast, mountain, snow experience, before being employed by the FMCSA. How can they dictate to us drivers what we can or can’t do and change and put new laws on us drivers when they have no trucking experience?”

“Relax, people,” quipped Kerry Dasher on Overdrive‘s Facebook page. “He played with toy truck as a kid.”

It’s a maxim of sorts in the trucking-regulatory-commentary genre, but one that some operators encouraged Kirby and others commenting similarly to withhold for now in favor of giving Martinez an opportunity to show his stripes. “Let’s give him a chance,” noted Charlie Worzel under the same news. “He might be on our side.” 

To that effect, many others delivered on our call for viewpoint on just where the next FMCSA administrator’s priorities should sit — on the veritable eve of planned protest actions in Washington, D.C., next week, chiefly, readers seized on (what else but) the electronic logging device mandate set to take effect on Dec. 18 of this year. Views toward hours of service reform, too, with an emphasis on greater split-sleeper flexibility or other measures to counter what many view as the rest-disincentivizing nature of the 14-hour rule, were primary themes. Hear a selection of numerous hits to our podcast voicemail line in Overdrive Radio this week, in players at top, and below.

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