WASHINGTON, D.C. — When Ray Martinez stepped down as the head of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) in October 2019, nobody could have predicted the agency would be without an Administrator for three years.
The agency’s wait is over. Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson was confirmed on Sept. 22 by the U.S. Senate as the seventh Administrator of FMCSA.
In a release congratulating Hutcheson, United Motorcoach Association (UMA) President & CEO Scott Michael said, “The safety of our passengers and the nation’s traveling public is always our highest priority. We stand ready to work with Administrator Hutcheson and her team to further reduce passenger carrier crashes and improve the industry’s current outstanding safety record.”
Hutcheson is assuming the role at a time when the nation’s roadway death toll has been rising. In her testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Hutcheson said that a plan she worked on as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety Policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will increase investigations into high-risk carriers, as well as aid efforts to stop unsafe truck drivers from getting on the road.
An ‘unacceptable trend’
Hutcheson said she’s committed to working with FMCSA, stakeholders and others to “reverse this unacceptable trend” of roadway fatalities.
In her DOT role with the Biden-Harris administration, she led safety policy and coordinated safety efforts — including COVID-19 response and recovery — across multiple modes of transportation.
Hutcheson led the development of the first National Roadway Safety Strategy for the United States and helped secure $13 billion in additional funding for safety programs and initiatives included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Before being appointed to the DOT post, she was the Director of Public Works for the city of Minneapolis and the Transportation Director for Salt Lake City. Hutcheson was also a consultant for 15 years, prior to joining public service, and has worked throughout the Western United States, as well as in London and France. Hutcheson also served for seven years on the board of directors for the National Association of Transportation Officials (NACTO), most recently as its President.