ATA calls on FMCSA to abandon ‘politically motivated’ HoS changes
March 7, 2011
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The American Trucking Associations is once again calling on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to abandon its "politically motivated" proposal to revise current the Hours-of-Service rules. The proposed rules would...
ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations is once again calling on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to abandon its “politically motivated” proposal to revise current the Hours-of-Service rules. The proposed rules would see – among other changes – a drop the maximum allowable daily driving time from 11 hours to 10. In comments filed March 4, the ATA said the current HoS rules are based on science and have been proven to function safely.
“In its current HoS proposal, the agency has abandoned years of objective analysis in favour of speculation and internal ‘judgments’ of critical areas,” ATA said in its comments. “The agency’s approach in the current HoS proposal cannot be squared with its prior factual conclusions and analytical approach; is contrary to the real-world circumstances to which the rules apply; and its financial computations whither under objective scrutiny. In short, the agency is far from making any sort of case that the HoS rules should be changed and the obvious strains in its attempt to justify those changes illustrates how ill-considered they are.”
In its comments, ATA points out that since the basic framework of the rules went into effect in 2004, “truck safety has improved to unprecedented levels” as the “numbers of truck-related injuries and fatalities have both dropped more than 30% to their lowest levels in recorded history.”
ATA also told the FMCSA that despite claims by the agency and anti-truck activists that the reduction in crashes is the result of a slumping economy, “truck mileage has actually increased.”
Rather than change the rules, ATA told FMCSA that focusing on improving compliance with the current regulations would do more to improve highway safety.
“Promoting compliance with the current Hours-of-Service rules is a very good recipe for reducing crashes,” ATA said, pointing to the agency’s own data which demonstrates a very strong correlation between compliance with the current Hours-of-Service rules and low crash rates. “Changing the rules only leaves safety to chance.”
ATA also pointed to independent reviews of FMCSA’s analysis that found flaws in the agency’s proposed changes.
“The agency had made numerous crucial errors in its assessment that individually and cumulatively render its conclusions meaningless,” ATA said, adding that a leading sleep researcher upon whose work the agency leaned heavily to justify the proposed changes accused the agency of misapplying his work to support its claims.
“The changes proposed by FMCSA will have virtually no benefit in terms of reducing fatigue-related truck crashes and, in fact, will create other types of truck safety concerns such as promoting aggressive driving and driving during peak hours of congestion,” ATA concluded.
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News