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ATA battling would-be Hours-of-Service changes in court today

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments from American Trucking Associations earlier today, regarding changes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made to...


WASHINGTON, D.C. — A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments from American Trucking Associations earlier today, regarding changes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made to the Hours-of-Service rules in 2011.

“The existing rules have a proven track record, and the agency’s purported reasons for tinkering with them were baseless,” said ATA General Counsel Prasad Sharma. “We’re hopeful the judges will see through the agency’s mere pleas for deference and after-the-fact explanations for a rule that was agenda-driven rather than evidence-based.”

ATA officials say the FMCSA’s 2011 changes would put “onerous restrictions on drivers’ ability to effectively manage their schedules by limiting the use of a restart period to once every seven days, as well as inflexibly mandating off-duty breaks during the workday.” The ATA says these changes were not supported by the data available and should be rejected.

Separately, a coalition of outside advocacy groups challenged FMCSA’s retention of the eleventh hour of driving and the existence of the restart at all.

“Public Citizen and its cohorts also faced tough questions they didn’t have good answers for,” Sharma said. “Despite Public Citizen’s arguments, neither the law nor the data support Public Citizen’s contention that FMCSA was obliged to make the hours-of-service regulations more onerous than they are. Nothing they said today changed that.”

While there is no deadline for a court ruling, the ATA says it is hoping for a swift decision.

The ATA, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and other stakeholders have asked the FMCSA to delay implementation of the rules until three months after the court issues its decision – to save the industry and enforcement community the expense of preparing for a rule that might never go into effect – but the agency has indicated it plans to begin enforcement as scheduled on July 1.


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2 Comments » for ATA battling would-be Hours-of-Service changes in court today
  1. Todd Stine says:

    I am against the new rules for several reasons. First, the 1 to 5 rule has serious affects against drivers who run nights. The half hour break will cause parking issues and cause us to be late for our delivery appointments since we already have to sit ten hours plus a 15 minute pre trip. The 1 to 5 rule also affects team operations in making them take much more than 34 hours off. I am one of the America’s Road Team captains.

  2. John Rozema says:

    We already have many parking area’s being closed and are now being asked to park longer? I am waiting for a smart lawyer to argue that if a province/state does not provide enough parking spaces to comply with the law the law can be overturned as impossible to comply with. Any takers? I have been on the road for about 28 years and the restrictions on the drivers is getting so bad I need out of this industry. How does any one expect to attract new drivers with low pay, no home time,restrictive rules and cranky customers? Good luck!

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