This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week.
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Top FMCSA priorities in 2022.
DETAILS: The Biden administration’s Trucking Action Plan and the National Roadway Safety Strategy will be a top focus for regulators this year. In this fireside chat, Robin Hutcheson, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration deputy administrator, discusses how these initiatives will affect the trucking industry.
SPEAKER: Robin Hutcheson, acting administrator, FMCSA
BIO: Hutcheson was named deputy administrator of the FMCSA by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in January. In that role, she serves as the agency’s acting administrator. Before being selected to head FMCSA, Hutcheson served as deputy assistant secretary for safety policy at DOT in the Biden administration, where her role included coordinating COVID-19 response and recovery. She was also instrumental in the development of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, particularly the Safe Streets and Roads for All program.
KEY QUOTES FROM HUTCHESON:
“Both of these initiatives — the Trucking Action Plan and the National Roadway Safety Strategy — will help to create a strong, stable, safer trucking workforce that offers good-paying jobs to millions of truckers. They are front and center to how critical those are to our economy.”
“FMCSA is involved in the administration’s Trucking Action Plan in a few specific ways: increasing the number of CDLs, supporting [driver] apprenticeship programs, attracting underrepresented groups into the profession, and longer-lead work to deepen our understanding about what it means to be in the profession and retaining drivers.”
“Since the launch of the driver apprenticeship challenge more than two months ago, we have more than 200 employers and industry partners that have stepped forward to expand their registered apprenticeship programs.”
“It’s important that we look at high crash corridors — and [the Roadway Safety Program] increases the amount of money for the motor carrier safety assistance program, which provides formula grants to the states to conduct on-road traffic enforcement and inspections of commercial motor vehicles. We want states to pinpoint areas where there are crashes and fatalities and direct resources to the highest-problem areas.”
“We have been talking with women in the industry and are hearing real issues and concerns that need to be addressed — issues such as equal pay, freedom from workplace harassment and sexual assault. But we are committed to making this not only a viable profession, but a preferred profession for women to come into the industry and stay.”