U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced on July 25, 2014 that Anne Ferro, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) intended to resign her position at the end of August.
In a press-release from the Secretary’s office, Mr. Foxx praised Ms. Ferro stating, “Under Anne’s leadership, FMCSA has ushered in a new culture of safety into the commercial bus and trucking industries. She has made it more difficult for companies that jeopardize the public’s well-being to stay in business and easier for consumers to make informed choices when choosing a shipper or buying a bus ticket. From making it easier for veterans to get jobs as commercial drivers, to shutting down more than 100 dangerous bus companies last year alone, the initiatives Anne has championed will continue to increase safety for travelers on our roads for years to come.”
In a separate letter from Ms. Ferro to DOT employees announcing her departure Ms. Ferro stated, “Together, we have made a difference for countless families across the country by raising the bar for safety in motor carrier operations. We have worked to ensure that companies and drivers are more accountable for their actions, strengthened our oversight of high-risk carriers, created better tools for our law enforcement partners, and opened up a new world of useful data to educate both businesses and consumers alike.”
Her Announcement not a Surprise
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) publicly called for Ms. Ferro’s resignation on June 6, 2014 and online chatrooms and radio programs were full of comments expressing happiness with her departure and taking credit for forcing her from office. The truth is otherwise.
CCTA’s Joe Rajkovacz was asked to be a guest commentator on Sirius XM’s Road Dog channel hosted by Mark Willis right after the announcement from Secretary Foxx. Mr. Rajkovacz pointed out on the radio program that many in the industry were expecting this announcement since April since it was widely known that Ms. Ferro had applied to be the CEO of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). “It’s easy to look like a hero by calling for someone’s resignation when you already know they are leaving,” Mr. Rajkovacz stated on the radio program.
Ironically, while many drivers were expressing their disdain for Ms. Ferro, her parting statement praised truck and bus drivers. “On a daily basis we have also recognized the significant contributions that commercial truck and bus drivers make to roadway safety and our nation’s economic vitality. As part of that effort, we have highlighted the daily demands and economic pressure drivers often face because they are paid by-the-mile or load instead of their total time on-duty. In the GROW AMERICA Act 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.”
It is very typical for people to leave an administration in its second term and it’s no different with the Obama White House. People are leaving and Ms. Ferro is going to take the position of President and CEO of AAMVA. Prior to serving as FMCSA Administrator, Ms. Ferro was the head of the Maryland Motor Truck Association and Maryland Motor Vehicle Administrator.
The position of Administrator of FMCSA is a presidential appointee position needing Senate confirmation. As of this writing there are no names being publicly floated as possible replacements.