Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Resigns | Apex Capital Trucking Blog

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Resigns

by Apex Capital | March 14, 2013

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Resigns

ray lahood resignsRay LaHood formally confirmed his resignation from his position as Transportation Secretary after serving with President Barack Obama since 2009. According to publications such as Politico.com, the National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman, who has argued for more safety regulation measures by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has emerged as the leading candidate to replace LaHood.

LaHood’s Term

According to many sources, including USA Today, LaHood earned praise during his term as Transportation Secretary for taking a tough stance against the airline companies on consumer affairs. LaHood was an advocate for the rights of commercial aircraft passengers to have access to water, food and facilities during long delays on airport runways. Fines and penalties against airlines for mistreating customers increased during LaHood’s tenure. These measures helped curb the problem of planes being stuck on the tarmac for extended periods of time. The government also adopted stricter regulations regarding pilot fatigue under LaHood.

LaHood was a major supporter of high-speed rail travel as Transportation Secretary. The Department of Transportation invested more than $12 billion in federal funds in high-speed passenger rail projects under LaHood.

Distracted driving was another big issue for LaHood. He sought to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while using phones or digital devices.

Low Points for LaHood

LaHood did make several missteps during his term. He recently announced that the Boeing 787 was fit to fly before changing course and grounding the aircraft less than a week later. LaHood also drew criticism for suggesting that Toyota owners should stop driving their cars because of potential acceleration problems with the vehicles. He quickly revised his statement, saying he meant to suggest that owners of recalled Toyota models should get the cars fixed as soon as possible.

LaHood’s Career

Before he became Transportation Secretary, LaHood served as a Republican congressman from the 18th district of Illinois for 14 years beginning in 1995.

LaHood has not offered a specific reason for his resignation as Transportation Secretary. He indicated that he felt it was time to move on after dedicating 35 years to public service. LaHood said he plans to enter the private sector for the next step of his career.

“I serve at the pleasure of the President and it is an honor to look out for the safety of the American public when it comes to planes, trains, automobiles and more,” LaHood said in a prepared statement addressing his resignation. “Throughout this term, we have also focused our efforts on creating jobs as we rebuild our roads, rails and runways.”

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