President Trump’s nominee to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Raymond Martinez, supports the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate.
Martinez vowed to observe an “open-door policy” and to welcome reasonable suggestions from concerned stakeholders.
Martinez made the statements during his appearance last month before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which conducted a hearing on Martinez’s appointment.
While Martinez supports the timely implementation of the ELD rule, he acknowledged that the ELD mandate “could cause serious hardships to small independent truckers.”
“The goal is to not cripple commerce. The goal is to make roadways safer,” he said.
Martinez added that he is willing to listen to suggestions on either the hours of service (HOS) exemptions or ELDs.
The committee has voted in favor of Martinez as the FMCSA’s head. Now, he will need a majority vote by the full Senate before he formally assumes the charge of the FMCSA.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) welcomed the White House’s move to designate Martinez as the FMCSA’s head.
“Mr. Martinez is well-known to our industry from his work in New Jersey and New York, and exudes the kind of professionalism, integrity and focus on safety that FMCSA needs,” ATA head Chris Spear said in a statement.
Gail Toth, who is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, said Martinez would be “an asset” to the FMCSA.
Currently, Martinez sits as the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC). He previously chaired the New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
During his appearance before the Senate committee, Martinez recognized that paper logs are “susceptible to fraudulent entries.”
When asked for his comment on proposals to remove Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores from public view, Martinez called himself an “advocate for transparency.”
He pointed out that “the data does have to be accurate in order to be effective for the consumer and to be fair to the industries regulated.”
If he gets confirmed as the FMCSA’s head, Martinez said he would go over the CSA studies “to make appropriate changes as recommended on how best to move forward.”
As for how he will run the FMCSA, Martinez told the Senate committee that his tenure would be marked by the application of “data-driven policies.”
“Implementation of laws and promulgating regulations should be done with the best information available, and must be viewed by stakeholders as reasonable, rational and fair.”
“If confirmed as FMCSA administrator, I would continue to pursue data-driven policies.”
Meanwhile, three other Department of Transportation (DoT) nominees appeared alongside Martinez before the committee.
They were Diana Furchtgott-Roth, appointed as assistant secretary of transportation for research and technology, Bruce Landsberg as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Leon Westmoreland as director of Amtrak.
Martinez’s decision to support the ELD mandate’s implementation should send the trucking industry a clear message — the federal rule will not be pushed back. It will be implemented next month.
Because the deadline is just a month away, carriers would only do well if they transition to ELDs right now.
To help you figure out which ELD providers are offering the most affordable yet powerful ELD systems, use our free ELD price tool.