Raymond Martinez, President Trump’s nominee for Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said in Senate testimony that he will not delay implementation of the electronic logging device mandate that starts to kick in on Dec. 18, less than seven weeks from now.
Replying to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) query as to whether FMCSA “should delay the implementation of the mandate prior to Dec. 18” specifically “in light of the cost” estimated to implement it of $2 billion, Martinez said that while “regulatory reform should be an ongoing process,” it is “legally required” that the December deadline to implement the ELD mandate be met.
In his Oct. 31 testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on his nomination to head FMCSA, Martinez went on to state that, if confirmed, he would “look forward to working with industry and all stakeholders, safety advocates and particularly the impacted sectors of commerce.
“I’ve heard that this rule could cause serious hardship to some small independent truckers, particularly those working in the agricultural sector,” he explained, “so, I’d want to meet with those involved in those areas who oppose the rule to learn more about their concerns. The goal is to not cripple commerce. The goal is to make our roadways safer. That is our mission and that’s in everything we approach… through that lens of safety.
“So, first and foremost,” Martinez added, “[I would] abide by the law, but also have an open door policy and work with all the impacted stakeholders.”
Martinez is currently Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. His previous experience includes serving as Chairman of the Governors Traffic Safety Committee in New York.
In his opening statement, Martinez related his bona fides to lead the federal safety-enforcement agency. “As the former motor vehicle commissioner and chairman of the Governors Traffic Safety Committee in New York State and the current chairman and chief administrator of the State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, I have been a partner with other state agencies as well as stakeholders to advance safety on our roads.
"I have developed close working relationships with both FMCSA and [National Highway Traffice Safety Administration] as well as with safety advocates, including AAA, the National Safety Council, and MADD," he continued. "I believe that open communication and collaboration are very important and would continue this practice as FMCSA administrator.”
Martinez noted that while serving in both the New Jersey and New York agencies, he “routinely engaged with thought leaders at some of the university research institutions in our region that continue to do great work in the area of traffic safety” as well as the consortium of 19 universities that make up the University Transportation Research Center based at the City University of New York.
He said having “this open dialogue and cross pollination of ideas was essential to problem-solving. 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.”
The committee has not yet taken a vote on whether Martinez’s nominee is to be reported to the Senate favorably, unfavorably or without recommendation. Once they have voted, his nomination will come before the full Senate, which must confirm his nomination by a simple majority vote.