Raymond Martinez, chairman and chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, was nominated to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The White House made the announcement on Sept. 25, lauding Martinez’s record.
He was nominated by Republican Gov. Chris Christie in February 2010 to become the chairman and chief administrator of the commission, which involves managing an agency that generates more than $1 billion annually. He’s also charged with licensing nearly 6 million drivers and the titling, registration and inspection of more than 4.9 million vehicles.
As chairman of the Motor Vehicle Commission board he led the policymaking body made of up government and public members.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he would succeed Daphne Jefferson, who is acting FMCSA administrator.
Further, he would also take over an agency in flux. FMCSA is undergoing an overhaul of its safety performance scoring system, Compliance, Safety, Accountability, or CSA.
Regulators also are overseeing the mandate of electronic logging devices on motor carriers that starts Dec. 18. And the agency is among the entities weighing in on the regulatory landscape for autonomous commercial vehicles and cars.
The trucking industry applauded the Martinez nomination.
“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,” American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear said. “I congratulate him on his nomination and urge the Senate to quickly confirm him so we can begin working together on important highway safety issues.”
The executive director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, Gail Toth, and the president of the Trucking Association of New York, Kendra Hems, echoed Spear’s sentiment.
“Martinez quickly earned a reputation for being hands-on and willing to work with the trucking industry to solve problems,” Toth said.
“He always made the safety of the motoring public his top priority, and I am confident that he will continue that focus as the FMCSA administrator,” Hems added.
In 2014, Christie also appointed Martinez as an executive branch member of the State Planning Commission.
“In this role, he represents state government in the oversight of environmental protection issues, land use, development and redevelopment,” according to the commission’s website. Before his stint in the Garden State, Martinez was commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. He also worked on White House advance teams for domestic and international trips for presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
The Senate has not announced a date for his confirmation hearing.
FMCSA was established in 2000 to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. The agency works with state and local government agencies to enforce safety regulations, improve safety information systems and technologies and strengthen commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards.