GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – Four groups have joined the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) in a legal challenge of the new hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers.
OOIDA filed a court challenge earlier this year requesting that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit review the hours-of-service, specifically rules involving the 14-hour on-duty clock and split sleeper-berth provisions.
Recently, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, The Truckload Carrier’s Association and the Ohio and California Trucking Associations have filed “motions to intervene” in the petition for review, in support of OOIDA’s court challenge.
“This means we have a great deal of support for our petition now,” says Paul Cullen Jr., of OOIDA’s legal team. “These groups support OOIDA’s position and will have the opportunity to present arguments of their own.”
OOIDA initially petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in August of 2005 for two changes to the current hours-of-service regulations.
The current regulations are set up in a way that if a trucker chooses to split up the required 10 hours of off-duty time, one of the two periods must be at least eight hours. The eight-hour rest period stops the 14-hour maximum on-duty clock. The other two off-duty hours can be taken, to fulfill the 10-hour off-duty requirement, do not stop the 14-hour clock.
The other change OOIDA petitioned for involved split sleeper-berth provision for team drivers. Under the current HoS regulations, team drivers have to take a minimum of eight consecutive hours off in the sleeper berth.
“When the drivers are questioning the safety of the sleeper berth regulations, the regulations need to be rethought”, said Michael D. Campbell, executive vice-president and CEO of the California Trucking Association, “We need real world data that supports changes to the rules before the agency makes such a drastic change with out the drivers input.”
FMCSA denied OOIDA’s petition for reconsideration December 2005, prompting the association to take the matter to court.
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