FMCSA under Sandberg
Focus on security, business partnerships

President Bush has recommended Annette Sandberg, who was appointed Nov. 25 as deputy administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to lead the agency.

Her appointment awaits Senate approval, but requires no congressional action, since she moved to the FMCSA from another federal agency — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Since September 11, 2001, FMCSA, like all federal agencies, has added security to its list of priorities. That emphasis will continue as the new Department of Homeland Security takes shape the next two years, Sandberg said.

“To us, safety means reducing crashes and fatalities, saving lives and protecting the transportation system from terrorist incidents,” she said. “We take this responsibility very seriously.”

Sandberg spoke recently at the 2003 Intelligent Transportation Systems/Commercial Vehicle Operations Deployment Showcase, a venue to highlight advanced technologies and information systems.

Emphasis on partnerships
Sandberg spent more than 17 years in a variety of law-enforcement, supervisory and administrative posts with the Washington State Patrol, including nearly six years as its chief. She’s an attorney by training, having practiced law in Olympia, WA.

When appointed to the Washington State Patrol in 1995, she was the first woman in the country to head a state police agency. Sandberg received her law degree from the University of Puget Sound School of Law and her MBA from City University in Bellevue, WA.

She also was chosen to attend executive institutes at Harvard University and the FBI.

“At all points in my career, I learned the value of networking and building partnerships. I’ve dealt with state legislatures, local governments, state governors, chiefs of police, trade associations and professional societies, as well as businesses and related industries.

“I strongly support partnerships, and I will promote the leveraging of partnerships beyond established relationships and traditional roles. In this regard, we have unlimited opportunities, and that’s where I want to take this agency,” Sandberg said.

Roadside technology
Sandberg also believes new safety technologies coupled with an emphasis on security will protect the mobility of U.S. goods.

“Trucks and buses play a vital role in the economic life of America. The trucking industry alone generates $372 billion in revenue annually and employs more than 9 million people,” she said.

To protect that revenue, FMCSA’s Technology Division has added a security program that is currently providing technical support to ongoing studies.

The division manages the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks deployment program, which seeks to deploy information systems for safety, credentialing and electronic roadside screening.

In addition, The Driver Vehicle Roadside Strategies 2010 program will continue to focus on both the commercial motor vehicle and automobile driver to eventually develop a “smart roadside” capability.

Sandberg told the security forum: “Keep in mind, we need to move forward together because success depends on our combined, unrelenting focus, experience and resources to meet our challenges and accomplish our mutual safety and security goals.”

—By Dick Larsen, senior editor