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ATA appeals to keep existing US HoS regulations

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has made a strong case for retaining the current US hour...


ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has made a strong case for retaining the current US hours-of-service regulations despite a recent court ruling that threatens two key provisions of the rules.

The 11-hour daily driving limit and the 34-hour restart provision were both deemed to be unjustified according to a ruling in the US Court of Appeals. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) did not properly justify the two key provisions, according to the ruling.

On Friday, the ATA asked the FMCSA to retain the two rules in question, to avoid widespread disruption in the industry and the supply chain.

ATA notes that the Court ruling did not indicate that the two rules were unsafe, only that proper procedure was not followed in developing the rules. The association points out that while lobby groups opposed to the rules fixate on the additional hour of driving time permitted under the current rules, they ignore the fact that the daily rest periods were increased from eight hours to 10 hours and on-duty time was reduced from 15 hours per day to 14 hours.

ATA filed a petition that said the trucking industry will not be able to adapt to immediate changes in the daily driving limit and restart provisions with shouldering a significant cost and impact on operations.

The association also pointed out that truck fatalities continued to decline in 2006, demonstrating that the current rules are working. The 4.7% decline in truck fatalities in 2006 was the largest drop in 14 years, according to the ATA.

The petition asked the FMCSA to publish an Interim Final Rule by Sept. 14 to re-adopt the 11-hour driving limit and 34-hour restart; within 60 days after that, publish a proposed rulemaking that addresses the issues identified by the court; and publish a final rule within 180 days of the notice of proposed rulemaking’s publication.


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