Proposed HoS reduction would impact wages, economy: ATA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) continues to plead with US lawmakers to leave the existing hours-of-service regulations in tact.

In a latter to Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, ATA senior vice-president of policy and regulatory affairs Dave Osiecki indicated the any reduction in driver hours would be counterproductive while delivering no safety benefits.

“Late last year, DoT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed costly changes to truck drivers’ hours-of-service rules which, if finalized, would result in reduced wages for hundreds of thousands of drivers, significant administrative and efficiency costs for trucking companies, and most importantly, billions of dollars in lost productivity,” Osiecki wrote in the Sept. 2 letter to Sunstein. “These inefficiencies and costs would deal a serious and sustained blow to the huge ‘tangible goods’ economy that trucking supports, affecting not only shippers of freight, but ultimately consumers.”

Osiecki pointed out the FMCSA’s own regulatory impact analysis found the proposed changes would result in costs that would outweigh any crash reduction benefits. He also indicated that US truck safety has improved since the current rules were put into place in 2004.

“Just two days ago, on Aug. 31, 2011, FMCSA released even more evidence demonstrating that compliance with the current HoS rules is ‘strongly correlated with crash rates’,” Osiecki wrote. “In other words, carrier compliance with the current rules is directly linked to safer trucking operations.”

You can read the complete letter here.

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