Raymond P. Martinez, President Trump’s nominee for heading the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has officially assumed leadership of the agency.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao swore in Martinez as the new head of the FMCSA.

Chao believes that Martinez is the right man for the job. She said, “Ray’s years of experience promoting traffic safety at the state level, as well as his knowledge of the commercial motor vehicle industry, will help FMCSA fulfill its critical mission of improving truck and bus safety.”

It’s an honor and privilege to serve my fellow Americans in this capacity and, under Secretary Chao’s leadership, I look forward to working with all commercial vehicle stakeholders to effectively reduce the number of truck and bus crashes on our nation’s roads,” said Martinez.

A supporter of the ELD mandate and data-driven reforms

In October, when Raymond Martinez appeared before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for a hearing on his appointment, Martinez expressed his support for the ELD mandate, which became effective from December 18, 2017.

Martinez acknowledged both the complexities and the necessity of the ELD mandate.

“The goal is to not cripple commerce. The goal is to make roadways safer,” said Martinez.

Martinez also vowed to look into studies made on Compliance, Safety, Accountability “to make appropriate changes as recommended on how best to move forward.” He wants to make the CSA program more precise in its ability to measure the crash risk of carriers.

Regarding the use of paper logs, Martinez admitted during his appearance before the Senate committee that the manual recording of hours is “susceptible to fraudulent entries.”

The American Trucking Associations had expressed their support for Martinez.

ATA President and Chief Executive Chris Spear said in a statement, “Mr. Martinez is well-known to our industry from his work in New Jersey and New York, and exudes the kind of professionalism, integrity and focus on safety that FMCSA needs.”

Gail Toth, Executive Director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, noted that Martinez would be “an asset” at the FMCSA.

Martinez took over from Scott Darling, who was the FMCSA’s head in the last two years of President Obama’s second term. After Trump became President in January, Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson headed the FMCSA on an interim basis.

With Martinez as the head of the FMCSA, we can expect more data-driven reforms that would help truckers and improve road safety.