In closing, I would like to recognize the hard work of the NTSB staff in producing this report, and to thank my fellow Board Members for their very thoughtful participation in the process.
Today’s new and reiterated recommendations, if acted upon, will significantly expand the toolbox available to the FMCSA to attach consequences to their risk assessment results. These recommendations were crafted to improve safety by targeting the high-risk operators that pose the greatest threat to roadway users.
The FMCSA’s ability to identify high-risk carriers means little unless it can act promptly and effectively to force those carriers to either make changes to improve safety, or pursue another line of business.
From the point of view of the traveling public, today’s recommendations, if acted upon, would reduce the risk of deadly truck-involved crashes. Truck drivers would more likely be well-rested, and their vehicles would more likely be mechanically sound, among other positive safety outcomes.
From the point of view of responsible commercial operators and drivers, these measures would help to level the playing field. Compliant carriers should not be forced to compete with marginal carriers that ignore necessary safety precautions and thereby reap an unfair advantage.
Today’s uneven playing field is also an unsafe playing field. Action on today’s recommendations could help to level the playing field and result in safer roads for everyone.
We stand adjourned.