Industry News

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants a federal appeals court to keep the current hours-of-service regulations in place for at least six months – and probably considerably longer – while the agency works to address the court’s concerns.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the current hours regulations July 16 and ordered FMCSA to reconsider them. The court withheld the ruling’s effective date until Aug. 30, however, to allow the agency time to consider whether to seek a rehearing.

Requiring the industry to return suddenly to the old rule would “produce a potentially uncertain and problematic patchwork of enforcement obligations, resulting in significant confusion and would substantially hamper enforcement” of the hours rule, FMCSA said in its request for a stay.

The appeals court had not ruled on the request for a stay at press time. The current hours rule, which went into effect Jan. 4, remains in effect.

In a related action, FMCSA is also seeking comments on a possible requirement that carriers use electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) to document their compliance with the hours regulations. Congress required the agency to analyze the costs and benefits of requiring EOBRs, something the appeals court included in its ruling.

“Because our current regulations do not reflect the considerable advances in the technology used in current-generation recording devices

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