On Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood convened the first meeting of a newly created U.S. Department of Transportation 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 Secretary 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. Secretary LaHood created the Safety Council to serve that broad-based safety leadership role and help break down organizational stovepipes, enabling an even stronger safety culture.
The goals of the Safety Council are to further enhance the safety focus throughout all agencies of the department and improve the impact of the department's safety programs.
The Council, chaired by Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari, is comprised of the heads of the Department'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 Corporation.
Deputy Secretary Porcari said the Council will be action oriented, data driven, emphasize open dialogue about common issues and provide a forum for fresh ideas and new perspectives.