PHILADELPHIA. Scott Darling, acting administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), said the agency’s long awaited final rule mandating electronic logging devices (ELDs) for the trucking industry should be “out in the next several months” as it is in the “final stages” of approval at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
In a speech given here at the American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual Management Conference & Exhibition (MC&E), Darling also called upon the industry to help his agency weed out “unsafe” operators.
“We need to do everything we can to take unsafe carriers and drivers off the road,” he stressed. “They hurt our industry and our economy.”
Darling added that FMCSA is “doing its part” to try and help the industry solve its growing driver shortage issue, expanding a program to grant qualified military veterans waivers so they can obtain a civilian commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).
“We’ve expanded this program to all 50 states and the District of Columbia,” he said. “So far, more than 10,000 [veterans] have taken advantage of this waiver program.”
Darling also expects FMCSA to form more partnerships with a variety of industry “stakeholders” in the year ahead to keep improving the safety profile of the trucking industry.
“Remember: always think safety first at home and at work,” he said in closing.
Bill Graves, ATA’s president and CEO, saluted Darling for his work with the industry in his remarks.
“We appreciate the openness you bring to the office, the commitment of time you’ve given to our industry and our events and the rare quality – one which we’re unfortunately seeing less and less of in public service - of being able to disagree without being disagreeable,” Graves said.
“We share your goal – and the goal of FMCSA – to make America’s road safer for everyone,” he said. “And if the worst that can be said about us is that we have disagreements over whose idea will be safer than the others, then we’re not doing too bad.”