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April 21, 2014 2:30 PM, EDT
Outgoing NTSB Chief Hersman Urges FMCSA to Shut Down Unsafe Operators
TT File Photo

WASHINGTON — Deborah Hersman, the outgoing chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the top federal truck safety regulator has to ensure that companies that do not honor hours-of-service rules are penalized and eventually shut down.

Hersman said at the National Press Club on April 21 that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had improved its safety data collection of bus and trucking companies, but it has struggled to act on that information.

“We have to get the poor operators off the road before the crashes and not after,” Hersman said. “It’s the bad companies that are not following the rules. … They’re actually creating unfair competition for the companies that do.”

Hersman will step down April 25 from NTSB to take over as CEO of the National Safety Council, an Illinois-based nonprofit.

During her tenure at the independent federal agency, she led in-depth investigations of high-profile accidents, such the bridge collapse on Interstate 5 in Washington state, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash in San Francisco and recent rail accidents around the country.

For additional coverage, see the April 28 issue of Transport Topics.