FMCSA rep visits ATSSA HQ to talk initiatives
National organization works to increase safety for CMVs and buses
Last month, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Virginia Division Administrator Craig Feister spoke at ATSSA headquarters in Fredericksburg, Virginia about the main objectives of the administration and the agency’s areas of focus.
“Since beginning this outreach to our members, we have learned a great amount of valuable information and held important discussions about how we work together to advance roadway safety,” said ATSSA Vice President of Member Services Donna Clark. “Our members are a priority, so we work hard to educate others about the dedicated work they do each day to help save lives on our nation’s roadways.”
According to Feister, the FMCSA works closely with trucking companies, and are starting to work more with organizations and associations like ATSSA.
The FMCSA was created by an act of Congress in 2000 as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), out of concern for an increase in apathy for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) and bus safety.
“Our mission is roadway infrastructure—trucks and buses do impact the safety on U.S. roadways but for transportation agencies, no matter where you work, safety is the top priority for the department,” Feister said. “If you're not going to comply with safety regulations and get drivers who are qualified, take care of your equipment, have good safety management practices, then most likely, you're not going to be around that long. It's interesting how it shifted from more economical regulations to safety regulations.”
The FMCSA has several functions. They have a grant program, which funds state agencies and organizations that have a focus on CMV and bus safety. Additionally, the agency has a primary grant that funds the CMV and bus safety inspection program in each state, funding that goes to universities to conduct research, and funding that goes to other safety organizations or nonprofits.
Feister said there are about half a million motor carriers on the roads, adding that about 70 to 75 percent of goods are being delivered by CMVs and that percentage could increase over the next 15 or 20 years.
“Unfortunately, if you look at statistics from recent years, we have more work to do,” Feister said. “We've had an increase nationally of fatal crashes of about 15 percent. At this point, we're revisiting our programs, and we're trying to figure out what we can do better to help drive these crashes down because that's what it's all about.”
To learn more about ATSSA membership, visit www.atssa.com/Member-Center or email ATSSA Director of Member Engagement Rita Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.