TORONTO, Ont. The CTA has is supporting the FMCSA’s bid to keep existing HOS rules in place while the agency deals with issues raised by the court in its July 2004 decision.
CTA has asked the court to grant it amicus curiae or "friend of the court" status so that the Alliance’s arguments supporting FMCSA’s motion for a stay are taken into account. Should the agency’s motion be denied, it would have no choice but to reinstate the previous hours of service rule for some indeterminate period while it attempts to put in place a revised rule or otherwise deal with the concerns raised by the court. The American Trucking Associations and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance last week also filed motions in support of FMCSA’s request for a stay.
In its request for amicus status, CTA told the court that it "offers a perspective that is not represented by any of the partiesNo other party to the proceeding represents the thousands of Canadian trucking companies that will be affected by this court’s decision whether to require the FMCSA to revert back to its former hours of service regulations or to allow the current rules to remain in effect while the agency fulfills the requirements set forth in this court’s July 16 decision."
CTA further pointed out that due to the lead time required by individual states to put in place laws and regulations under which they enforce the federally mandated hours of service rules, "this court’s vacating of the current federal HOS rules will result in a hodgepodge of hours of service rules at the state level, with some states applying the former rules, other states applying FMCSA’s current rules, and others not being able to apply any rules."
CTA argued that the Canadian industry will face significant and unwarranted costs if the current rules are vacated for some interim period. The Alliance told the court that unless the July ruling is stayed, an estimated 75,000 to 80,000 Canadian-based drivers operating into the US will need to be trained on the former rules and then retrained on whatever rules are put in place once the current legal proceedings are concluded. In addition, carriers will have to reprogram their computer systems to schedule driving times, pickups and deliveries, as well as rest and fueling stops. The Alliance concluded that, "the aggregate cost of education, training and adjustment of systems will be in the tens of millions of dollarsCarriers will face incurring all these costs again when the FMCSA issues its next hours of service regulations in compliance with the court’s directive."
It is expected that the court will issue its decision on FMCSA’s request for a stay some time after September 17.
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