John Hill has few regrets as his two-and-a-half-year tenure as chief administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) comes to an end. Hill, who joined the FMCSA in June 2003 as chief safety officer and assistant administrator before being named chief administrator in May 2006, believes big improvements have been made to the safety profile of the trucking industry on his watch.
“Fatalities in large truck crashes have now dropped for three years in a row, from 5,240 in 2005 to 4,808 in 2007,” he said.
Hill added that enforcement efforts increased during his agency tenure, with FMCSA and state safety inspectors completing 15,884 safety compliance reviews of interstate truck and bus companies in calendar year 2008: an increase of over 32% from the 12,005 compliance reviews completed in 2003.
Yet in his words, he feels “frustrated” by the inability to get electronic onboard recorders (EOBR) regulations on the books, specifically aimed at carriers and drivers who consistently violate hours of service regulations. “I'm amazed at the number of larger carriers that wanted this [EOBR] rule. Those that have adopted EOBRs see a broader mandate for them as a way to level the playing field.”