U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Monday convened the first meeting of a newly created Safety Council formed to tackle critical transportation safety issues facing the department’s 10 operating administrations.
“Now is the time to identify and address the top safety issues that cut across our agencies,” said LaHood. “The council will take our commitment to safety, which is our highest priority, to the next level.”
Before taking office, Secretary LaHood saw that many important safety initiatives were being pursued in the department’s agencies without a formal process for sharing data, best practices and strategies. LaHood created the Safety Council to serve that broad-based safety leadership role and help break down organizational “stovepipes,” enabling an stronger safety culture.
The goals of the Safety Council are to enhance the safety focus throughout all agencies of the department and improve the effectiveness of the department’s safety programs.
The council, chaired by Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari, comprises the heads of the DOT’s 10 agencies: the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Maritime Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Research and Innovative Technology Administration and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
Porcari said the council will be action oriented and data driven and will emphasize open dialogue about common issues and provide a forum for fresh ideas and new perspectives.
“The council will enhance the department’s safety culture,” said Porcari, “which should then resonate out into industry.”