By ABA Media
New Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond P. Martinez recently spoke with ABA media on FMCSA’s relationship with the private motorcoach travel and tourism industry. Here’s a sneak peek of the full article that will appear in the May/June issue of Destinations magazine.
What is the role of the private motorcoach travel and tourism industry in assisting with the challenge of safety in the surface transportation network?
Private industry has a significant role to play, and if we’re going to improve safety, we need good working partnerships with all commercial motor vehicle operators. My primary mission is to make sure that we have a strong partnership with the motorcoach industry, to be focused on improving safety and reducing fatalities and injuries on our roadways. That means we have to communicate. It means listening to the industry, having an open line of communication, and making sure we have a good working relationship.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was innovative in its recognition of the importance of recreational travel to the national economy by including a number of provisions supporting travel and tourism. Can you give us some examples of how FMCSA will seek to broaden participation or introduce initiatives that will bring creative solutions to long-standing safety problems?
Frankly, that’s one of those things that I’m hoping we can have conversations on not just directly with the ABA but also with its individual members to get those types of suggestions and recommendations on how we can advance safety measures. We fully support this, and I believe it is something that comes about by having get-down-into-the-weeds conversations about how the industry believes we could be more helpful.
What can FMCSA do to help the private motorcoach industry with the challenge of recruiting, hiring, and retaining drivers?
We have to look at the [CDL testing] process and see whether there is a way to do this smarter. I hope that I can get some input from the ABA and its members on what they’re seeing out there because I know they want good, qualified drivers. They don’t want people that are not properly trained, but they need people. The industry is demanding it, and we have to review the processes.