Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Annette M Sandberg will resign her post effective March 31, according to a letter she sent to the White House. She did not give a reason for her departure.
FMCSA recently has been dogged by legal challenges to its regulations, the most prominent of which involves the truck driver hours-of-service (HOS) rule that regulates the number of hours per day that drivers may operate. A petition has been filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review two aspects of HOS. Some trucking industry observers suggest that Public Citizen and other groups may file their own lawsuits, pending FMCSA's response to their petition.
In her resignation letter to President George W Bush, Sandberg said:
“During my three-year tenure we have made significant strides in improving commercial motor vehicle safety and security on our nation's highways. In this time, we have reduced the agency's regulatory backlog by over 68% and provided additional enforcement focus at the local, state, and federal level — resulting in the lowest large-truck fatality rate since the collection of data began in 1975.”
Sandberg's resignation will leave FMCSA searching for a new chief administrator — the third in its six-year life.
Sandberg had served as the chief of the Washington State Patrol for six years, part of a 17-year career with the patrol in law enforcement, supervisory and administrative posts, some of which included responsibility for motor carrier safety.
Though Sandberg is officially noted as the second chief administrator at FMCSA, unofficially she's the third, following Joseph Clapp and Julie Cirillo, who bore the title “acting” FMCSA administrator after serving as the head the Office of Motor Carrier Safety (OMCS) since 1999. The formation of FMCSA in 2000 effectively replaced OMCS. Bush nominated Clapp, a former Roadway Express executive, to run the agency in 2001.