Trucking Groups Urge Congress to Reform “Unlawful and Unethical” FMCSA
Washington D.C. – Two trucking groups are joining forces and urging the United States Congress to “reform” the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
In a letter sent to key U.S. lawmakers on Friday, the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) and United Transportation Association (UTA) argued for the immediate need to hold Congressional hearings for the purpose of reforming the FMCSA.
“We are asking for a competent permanent administrator from outside the agency to be appointed by the President to take control of this rogue agency and implement the national transportation policy set by Congress in a fair and balanced way, taking into consideration the needs and interests of all stakeholders,” the groups implored.
The four-page letter highlights a litany of recent and alarming commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crash data statistics which the groups argue is proof the FMCSA is failing in its mission.
“They fail at everything they do because they don’t understand our world,” Charles Claburn, president of UTA told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) last week. “We need someone from outside to go in there with a trucking background, someone who understands what it takes to do the job.”
Claburn says the Agency is once again making a mistake by replacing Acting Administrator Jim Mullen, who TNN first reported would soon be stepping down, with Wiley Deck.
Deck is currently a Senior Policy Advisor to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and former FMCSA Director of Government Affairs.
He has a long career as a Washington D.C. bureaucrat, and that doesn’t sit well with Claburn.
“Deck was directly involved in the failed policies we are dealing with now. If we keep allowing the FMCSA to have people sitting in that office that have no idea what it takes to do the job [then] we are going to keep losing,” he asserted.
Another such loss came earlier this month in U.S. District Court when Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sided with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) against the SBTC.
In a ruling that outraged many truckers, Judge Kollar-Kotelly agreed with the USDOT that Sec. Chao has “absolute discretion” whether or not to enforce federal laws protecting CMV operators.
Click HERE to read more on this case.
Claburn said the USDOT’s argument in the case is further proof USDOT leaders are not looking out for the best interests of truckers.
“Go ahead and drive into a protest or riot and if you get your brains beat out a thousand miles away from home, that’s okay,” he fumed.
A continued criticism leveled at the FMCSA by the SBTC and UTA is that the Agency acts in the interest of large carriers and safety groups instead of small business truckers.
The groups also addressed this issue directly with lawmakers.
“We are asking for Congress to provide much needed oversight to ensure the agency acts in the public interest and is not captured by big business interests and safety zealots,” the group wrote.
Finally, the groups asked lawmakers to hold USDOT leaders accountable for “their failures, unlawful and unethical activity, and patterns of fraud, abuse, waste, and mismanagement.”
Truckers interested in supporting the movement are encouraged to use the hashtag #ReformFMCSA on social media.