Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) President and CEO Todd Spencer is lobbying President-elect Joe Biden for the top slot at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Spencer has notified Biden’s transition team by letter that he is interested in serving as FMCSA’s next administrator.
“I know what it is like to make a living behind the wheel of a truck. I still hold a CDL,” Spencer stated in his Nov. 24 letter.
“I have been involved with FMCSA, its predecessor agencies and numerous federal advisory committees for decades. I have testified before Congress, I have had plenty of meetings with lawmakers and their staff, and I am exceptionally familiar with how Capitol Hill works. I enjoy working with my industry peers, both in the public and private sectors, and I am always willing to work with anyone for the greater good of the trucking industry and highway safety.”
Pointing out that FMCSA’s primary mission is to reduce crashes involving large trucks, Spencer told Biden’s team that trucking in recent years has become “dysfunctional” due in part to trucking regulations mandated by Congress that have nothing to do with highway safety.
“We have never had more regulations than we do today, and we have never had more enforcement of or compliance with those regulations, yet highway safety continues to trend in the wrong direction,” Spencer stated. “This is because regulations often exclude input or direct involvement from those behind the wheel of a truck, and they almost never reflect the diverse operational nature of the trucking industry.”
Spencer began his trucking career as an employee driver in 1974 and became an owner-operator after purchasing a truck in 1976, according to Grain Valley, Missouri-based association. He assumed the role as editor of the association’s magazine, Land Line, and communications director for OOIDA in 1981 after selling his two trucks.
He was elected executive vice president of OOIDA in 1992, holding the position for 26 years before being appointed acting president in January 2018. He was elected to a five-year term as president and CEO by the association’s board in April 2018.
“Representing our nation’s small-business truckers has been my life’s work,” wrote Spencer. “I still aspire to do this for many years to come, but sometimes we are compelled to make a difference in other ways.”
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