ARLINGTON, Va. — In a last-ditch attempt to have the July 1 changes to US hours-of-service rules derailed, the American Trucking Associations’ today addressed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the potential costs the industry will incur if the changes are implemented.
Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA, argued the impending changes are not supported by data or research.
“FMCSA’s motivation to change these rules was not based on evidence demonstrating a problem,” said Williams, a past chairman of ATA and the current chairman of the American Transportation Research Institute. “FMCSA’s three paragraph statement in the rulemaking called ‘The Purpose and Need for Regulatory Action’ did not cite any research or data analysis showing a problem. That speaks volumes.”
He cited a 31% drop in preventable collisions between 2004 and 2009 as evidence the current rules are working.
“The industry will lose operating flexibility and productivity, and the rules will increase driver stress and frustration,” he said, noting an estimated 1.5% to 4% reduction in productivity will translate to “between $500 million and $1.4 billion in lost productivity.”
Williams also said that it is “difficult, bordering on impossible, to accept FMCSA’s suggestion that corresponding benefits will result from these changes and that they will somehow offset all the costs.”
Williams also challenged the FMCSA’s claims that 15% of drivers work more than 70 hours per week. He referred to the claims as “grossly overstated,” and argued “the pending restart changes would have a net annual cost (not a benefit) to industry and society,” when the actual numbers are used.
Williams called on the Congress to postpone the July 1 implementation of the new rules until the FMCSA completes mandated research on the rule. He also sought an independent analysis of the regulation.
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