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Independent review finds flaws with FMCSA HoS proposal

ARLINGTON, Va. -- An independent review of the FCMSA's proposed new hours-of-service has found the agency overstated the proposal's benefits.

ARLINGTON, Va. — An independent review of the FCMSA’s proposed new hours-of-service has found the agency overstated the proposal’s benefits.

Edgeworth Economics conducted a review of the proposed changes and found the changes would result in net costs of US320 million a year, rather than the US$380 million in annual benefits the FMCSA is touting.

“We find that FMCSA has overstated the net benefits of the proposed rule by about US$700 million annually,” the review found.

“FMCSA has made a number of substantial changes to its approach since the previous (regulatory impact analysis) issued in 2007,” the Edgeworth report concluded. “We find that, in every instance, FMCSA’s new methodologies and assumptions increase the apparent net benefits of the proposed rule. However, many of FMCSA’s new approaches rely on misapplication of available data, use outdated information, or lack empirical support entirely.”

The report also found: FMCSA made unreasonable assumptions about truck safety by only sampling carriers it subjected to compliance reviews, often for not following existing safety rules; and in formulating its proposal, the FMCSA used crash data collected before the current rules went into effect, ignoring any improvements gained under the existing rules. Not surprisingly, the American Trucking Associations, proponents of the existing rules, lauded the report.

“Edgeworth’s analysis pretty clearly shows that FMCSA’s proposal isn’t rooted in sound science, good data or logic, and can’t stand up to scrutiny,” ATA president and CEO Bill Graves said. “The findings of this study match what we’ve heard from our members and what ATA has been saying since FMCSA launched this ill-conceived overhaul of these rules: As proposed, the new hours-of-service rules would impose significant costs on the trucking industry without improving safety. These rules are a cure for a disease that we don’t have.”

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