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Remarks at the 2011 North American Inspectors Championship by Bill Bronrott, Deputy Administrator, FMCSA

Remarks of Bill Bronrott
FMCSA Deputy Administrator
Opening General Session
2011 North American Inspectors Championship
Orlando, Florida

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Good morning.  It is truly an honor to join you today on behalf Administrator Anne Ferro and FMCSA’s 1100 employees strong — the overwhelming majority of whom are working our mission on the front lines outside the confines of the Washington Beltway – in all the states across the country.

Our safety-first mission to oversee an industry of over a half-million trucking companies, 12 thousand bus companies, and more than 5 million commercial motor vehicle drivers can be daunting.

The fact is, there is no way we can succeed without our partnerships with state and local law enforcement – some amazing heroes of our highways – starting with you, the roadside safety inspectors, and collectively through CVSA.

Each of you is a lifesaver.  You are lifelines for every family and every unsuspecting motorist on our North American roadways who simply expects — and certainly deserves — a safe route home or wherever their destination may be.  As the Florida tags said for many years: It’s all about Arriving Alive.

That is why I am glad to have this opportunity to pay tribute to you – the best of the best across the United States, Canada and Mexico – and to thank you for the shared partnership, the shared passion, the shared commitment to our safety-first mission. 

That said, it’s not about us.  Bottom line, it’s about preventing tragedies and keeping families whole.  You don’t know the names of the lives you’ve already saved and those yet to come.  But, know that next time you are driving through your hometown making your way home after a long day or night working roadside, the light that’s on in a neighbor’s window just might be burning bright because of what you’ve done and what you will continue to do to keep trucks, buses and their drivers safe and to remove from the road those who don’t play by the safety rules of the road.

Your presence along our roadways helps ensure consistency and uniformity across state lines and across our borders to the north and south.  It’s about doing the right thing at the right time, every time.  Yes, be fair, but also be firm.

You are the front line boots-on-the-ground that we so proudly talk about when we make our case on Capitol Hill for more support of our ever-growing needs to fulfill our collective mission.

As a Department and Agency, we are data driven.  The critically important data you feed us from the roadside lets us know where we need to focus our resources, know-how, energies, and technology.   

We urge you to embrace new technologies that help to multiple many times over the safety monitoring of the tens of thousands of trucks and passenger carriers on our roadways on any given day.  We also urge you to share your training and skills with your colleagues when you return home.

In closing, thank you for your commitment to excellence that has brought you here this week.  I want to give a special shout-out to two of FMCSA’s finest – both from our Texas Division:  Miguel Galindo and Enrique Valdez.  By the way, Enrique recently accepted a Safety Investigator position here in our Florida Division, so Enrique welcome home – your new home in the Sunshine State!

The people of North America have entrusted you, your colleagues back home, and all of us here today with the responsibility to keep drivers and passengers safe.  Your work is difficult, dangerous and mostly unseen by the public. So, on behalf of Transportation Secretary LaHood, FMCSA Administrator Ferro and a grateful nation, thank you and congratulations.  You all are winners.  You all are champions.  Together, we stand united under one flag – a flag for safety on our roadways.

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