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CTA: Leave US hours-of-service rules as they are

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) filed a petition Monday, requesting the US Federal Motor Carri...

OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) filed a petition Monday, requesting the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to keep its current HoS rules in tact.

The agency has been ordered to properly justify the 11-hour driving day and 34-hour restart provisions by a US Court. By officially filing the petition, the CTA has aligned itself with its US counterpart, the American Trucking Associations, which also would like to see the rules remain.

The FMCSA has been given until Dec. 27 to prove the two provisions in question do not jeopardize road safety.

In its petition, CTA pointed out to the agency that revoking the 11-hour driving limit and the 34-hour restart, or keeping them in place only temporarily pending some other change, would create severe difficulties for the thousands of Canadian cross-border trucking companies and drivers who must comply with the US rules. Systems would need to be overhauled, more drivers would have to be hired, staff would need to be retrained, and freight contracts renegotiated to cover new delivery schedules and increased costs.

CTA pointed out that Canada has a 13-hour driving daily driving limit and theres no evidence to suggest it has created safety issues. Also, the association added the minimum daily off-duty time was increased to 10 hours, allowing drivers to get the rest they need between driving cycles.

It was the CTA that first proposed a reset provision, to allow drivers to restart their duty cycle after two principal sleep periods of at least eight hours. Both CTA and ATA will now await FMCSAs response, which is expected to be made before the Dec. 27 deadline.

Its a legal and operational twilight zone, says CTA CEO David Bradley. While FMCSA ponders its next move, carriers and drivers will carry on as if the US hours-of-service rules have not changed and hope things stay that way; however carriers should be warning their customers of the potential loss of productivity and increased costs that would occur if these two key provisions of the rules are not retained.

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