April 11, 2016 4:00 PM, EDT
DOT Establishes Composition of Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Working Group

The Department of Transportation announced the formation of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Formula Working Group on April 11. The panel, a requirement of the FAST Act that President Obama signed into law in December, is designed to analyze the requirements and factors for establishing a new allocation formula for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s flagship state grant program.

“I look forward to receiving the working group’s recommendations on how we can enhance and streamline this important safety grant program with the ultimate goal of making our nation’s roads safer,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

According to DOT, MCSAP grant funds are essential to maintaining the states’ commercial motor vehicle enforcement programs while providing critical support for state-conducted compliance investigations, roadside inspections, new entrant audits and traffic enforcement activities.

State safety agency participation must make up at least 51% of the working group.

“We’re extremely pleased to have such a diverse group of leading commercial motor vehicle safety professionals participating in this significant endeavor,” FMCSA acting Administrator Scott Darling said in a statement. “This is an exciting opportunity to identify ways in which we can improve our grant allocation processes and, in turn, improve safety for the traveling public.”

The working group consists of: Lt. Donald Bridge of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles; Lt. Thomas Fitzgerald of the Massachusetts State Patrol; Michelle Lopez of the Colorado State Patrol; Alan Martin, deputy director of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission; Lt. Stephen Moore of the Georgia Department of Public Safety; Capt. Brian Preston of the Arizona Department of Public Safety; John Smoot of the Kentucky State Police; and Col. Leroy Taylor, deputy director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

FMCSA’s representatives are Nancy Baugher, Caitlin Cullitan, Thomas Liberatore, Dan Meyer and Courtney Stevenson.

Adrienne Gildea, deputy executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and Stephen Owings, president of Road Safe America, also were selected.

“The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance appreciates the opportunity to be a part of the newly established MCSAP Formula Working Group. CVSA, along with our state enforcement members who are also members of the working group, look forward to working together with FMCSA representatives to update the MCSAP grant funding formula, ensuring the formula reflects today’s current operating practices,” said Gildea.

“Part of our mission is to provide guidance as it relates to commercial motor vehicle safety and uniformity, and the MCSAP Formula Working Group gives us the opportunity to achieve that goal by helping to establish appropriate grant allocation for state CMV roadside inspections and traffic enforcement related activities. Over the past several years under MCSAP, these CMV traffic safety activities have contributed to a reduction in CMV-related crashes, fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways. And that’s our ultimate goal,” said Gildea.