FMCSA to Form Driver Panel to Get “Feedback on Critical CMV Issues”
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is forming a new panel comprised of professional drivers for the purpose of receiving feedback on critical issues facing the trucking industry.
In an announcement on Friday, the FMCSA said it will soon form a new subcommittee of 20-25 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to it’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC).
“This new panel will provide direct feedback to FMCSA on important issues facing the driving community—such as safety, hours-of-service regulations, training, parking, and driver experience,” the FMCSA said.
Drivers participating on the panel will include: tractor-trailer drivers, straight truck drivers, motor coach drivers, hazardous materials drivers, agriculture haulers, and more.
FMCSA indicated its goal is to “capture the wide array of viewpoints and experiences within the CMV community.”
“The Department of Transportation and this Administration believe in listening to our drivers and hearing their concerns directly,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck. “We know that many of the solutions to the challenges we face don’t come from Washington—they come from the hard-working men and women who are behind the wheel all over our nation. This new subcommittee to MCSAC will further help us hear from America’s commercial drivers.”
The Agency has long been accused by groups such as the National Association of Small Trucking Companies and Small Business in Transportation Coalition, as well as many within the grassroots trucking community, of showing favoritism to large and well-funded trucking industry associations.
Critics argue groups such as the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, Transportation Intermediaries Association, and Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association routinely wield more influence over the Agency’s decision and policy making initiatives.
Most recently at the Agency’s first-ever Truck Safety Summit, held virtually in August, the speaker list was packed full of mega-carrier and large associational executives which critics said was further proof of the Agency’s bias.
Additionally, grassroots groups such as the United States Transportation Alliance, TruckerNation, and the newly-formed United Transportation Association have been pushing the Agency for a “seat at the table” when regulations and policy is being considered.
Today’s announcement will likely be viewed by some as progress in that regard.
An FMCSA spokesman told Transportation Nation Network on Friday that no timetable has yet been set for the formation of the panel.
It also remains unclear who will make the driver selections, by what criteria they will be selected, and how long they will serve once selected.
TNN will have more details on this in the coming days, so stay logged on.
Photo courtesy of FMCSA