Here at the Department of Transportation, safety is always our highest priority. Today, I want to recognize some men and women who share our safety mission and now have the tools to help us get the job done: the 23 commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors and 9 new border inspectors who graduated last week from the National Transportation Center Academy.
In her remarks at the commencement, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro noted that these graduates “will play a vital role in protecting lives and preventing injuries by conducting inspections of trucks and buses.”
The curriculum included a mixture of lectures and hands-on demonstrations. The San Marcos, Texas, facility has ample space to keep a Commercial Motor Vehicle on-site for use in training. This recent addition to inspector training proved integral to the program because equipment was available for individual review or after-hours study. The location also made it possible for the nearby Wal-Mart Distribution Center in New Braunfels to provide trucks and drivers who gave students the driver's perspective on the use of commercial motor vehicle safety equipment.
An important component of the program was participating in 28 inspections with a Texas Department of Public Safety roadside task force. Adding a roadside component with so many inspections is a big improvement over the one or two fixed-base inspections of previous programs; this innovation allowed candidates to observe a much wider variety of violations.
The men and women who enrolled were willing to leave home for several weeks, missing hometown football games, family birthdays, and their own wedding anniversaries. Their commitment is truly inspirational, and proves that these are the people we want out there on our roadways ensuring our safety.
I welcome these new graduates aboard, and thank them for their commitment. As Administrator Anne Ferro said, “Our roads in California, Vermont, Georgia, Montana, Texas, North Carolina, to name a few, will be safer because of you.”