SPECIAL REPORT: OOIDA endorses John Hill for FMCSA’s top post

| 5/16/2006

President Bush intends to nominate John H. Hill, of Indiana, to be administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The intention to nominate Hill was announced in a White House press release issued May 17.

Hill currently serves as assistant administrator and chief safety officer for FMCSA. In that capacity he served as the agency's lead for developing the agency's pandemic influenza plan and the secretary's representative concerning Hurricane Katrina at the Department of Transportation.

The intended nomination will sit well with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. In mid-April the Association officially endorsed Hill as the person to take over the reins of the agency.

OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston wrote a letter April 17 to Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta endorsing Hill for the administrator post.

"During the past several years, the staff of OOIDA has had the opportunity to work with John Hill in various respects through conferences and summits," Johnston wrote. "Mr. Hill has demonstrated that he understands that heavy-handed enforcement is not the sole answer for highway safety. He has also shown a willingness to listen to all sides of a story and a solid appreciation for experienced, safety-conscious professional truck drivers."

Hill went to FMCSA with some on-road background. He was with the Indiana State Police from 1974 to 2003, where he served as the commander of the commercial vehicle enforcement division from 1989 to 1994 and again from 2000 to 2003. He also commanded the field enforcement and logistics divisions for the State Police.

Hill has also served on several national committees related to commercial transportation prior to going to work for the FMCSA, including working with the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems Committee and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Task Force for Identification Security.

"I believe that John Hill is an individual who would guide FMCSA in a logical and efficient manner toward increasing safety in the trucking industry and would recommend him to lead that agency," Johnston wrote.

- By Jami Jones

Staff Editor Coral Beach contributed to this article.