ATA requests hours review

| February 14, 2012

The American Trucking Associations Feb. 14 filed a petition with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia asking the court to review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s recently published final rule changing hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers.

“We regret that FMCSA and the Obama administration have put ATA and its member companies in a position to take this legal action,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “The rules that have been in place since 2004 have contributed to unprecedented improvement in highway safety. The law is clear about what steps FMCSA must undertake to change the rules and we cannot allow this rulemaking, which was fueled by changed assumptions and analyses that do not meet the required legal standards, to remain unchallenged.”

Last week, a Washington, D.C. appellate court dismissed a suit that had sought changes in existing HOS rules from the defendant FMCSA and the plaintiffs – the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Teamsters union, Public Citizen and the Truck Safety Coalition. After the agency was sued, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Trucking Associations and four other transportation and business groups filed as intervenors for the FMCSA.

The rules revision requires two early morning four-hour rest periods with the 34-hour restart, and does not change the 11-hour driving limit during one shift. Drivers and companies must comply with the final rule by July 1, 2013.

Drivers also cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least 30 minutes. Drivers can take the 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window.

ATA said it will support FMCSA’s move toward mandated electronic onboard recorders to ensure greater compliance with the current HOS rules, and to facilitate better enforcement of those rules.

ATA said it supports a new government requirement for large trucks to be electronically speed limited; a return to a national maximum speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles to avoid safety consequences of car-truck speed differentials; and greater deployment of automated speed and traffic enforcement technologies.

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