Both the American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have expressed their support for the nomination of Scott Darling to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as official administrator, a role he’s performed on an acting basis for nearly a year.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Darling to head the DOT’s trucking and bus regulator, leaving a Senate vote the only thing standing in the way of Darling becoming the agency’s next administrator.
OOIDA said Wednesday following the nomination it welcomes Darling to the post, which was left vacant following former Administrator Anne Ferro’s departure last August.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Administrator Scott Darling,” said Jim Johnston, President and CEO of OOIDA. “We have found him to be open and receptive to input from the association, and he appears to appreciate the role of professional truckers.”
OOIDA cited entry-level driver training as an area where it and Darling have already “made significant progress.” OOIDA says it hopes Darling will take up issues such as detention time and driver pay reform while head of FMCSA.
ATA, meanwhile, released this short statement from its President and CEO Bill Graves:
“We congratulate Scott on his nomination to this critical position and we look forward to continuing to work with him to improve truck and highway safety.”
The few Overdrive readers voicing opinions on the nomination, meanwhile, expressed varying degrees of disappointment, from Cliff Downing‘s skepticism of Darling’s background as counsel to FMCSA as appropriate to the administrator’s position to Andrea Sitler‘s contention that, given the state of the hours of service and CSA, among other issues, “We need a real voice in D.C. whose heart is in trucking.” Prior administrator Anne Ferro, Sitler wrote, “danced through until she was run out, then this lawyer was put ‘unofficially’ in power. What have we seen over the past six years out of this group? Nothing but chaos. We have a CSA system that is broken. [Hours of service] that still need attention.”
Along similar lines of thinking, asked what trucking issue he’d mostly like to discuss if the ear of the administration was open to his voice, Kevin Snobel responded this way on Twitter:
@channel19todd FMCSA interference and loss of objectivity. Get them on the road first to see THE REAL CHALLENGES
— Kevin Snobel Safety (@KevinSnobel) August 6, 2015