Motion to stay HOS ruling keeps provisions in place — for now

WASHINGTON — The American Trucking Associations’ has filed a motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to stay for eight months its decision to eliminate the 11-hour and 34-hour restart provisions of the American hours-of-service rules.

“The Trucking industry and its customers could not instantaneously shift to an hours-of-service regime with a different daily driving limit and without the 34-hour restart. Rather, such a conversion would require months of preparation,” ATA’s motion said.

ATA contends that changes to HOS at this point
would cause

When it handed down the ruling July 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said its decision would take effect in 52 days — meaning next weekend — unless the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a new interim final rule addressing the court’s concerns.

FMCSA still hasn’t countered the Court’s ruling with a temporary version of the rule that keeps the 11-hour and 34-hour provisions.

Even if the Court denies ATA’s request, the motion effectively acts as a short-term stay because it would take the Appeals Court at least 14 days to review that case.

That means the 11 and 34-hour provisions will remain in effect until at least the Court responds to ATA in late September

The motion also gives FMCSA extra time to issue a new interim rule, as urged by the ATA.

The trucking association predicts “widespread disruption in the industry and the supply chain,” if the ruling to void the 11-hour daily driving and 34-hour restart provisions eventually takes effect.

Changes to the rule would require retraining drivers and operating personnel, reprinting logs and other forms, reprogramming dispatching and electronic onboard recording software, reengineering routes, addressing customers’ issues, hiring new drivers and purchasing new trucks to compensate for the loss of productivity, ATA says.

In addition, vacating the two provisions would eliminate the only HOS provisions that partially offset the loss of productivity imposed by truckers and shippers by other HOS changes in 2005: the increase of the mandatory off-duty period from 8 hours to 10 hours, the decrease of maximum on-duty hours from 15 to 14, and changes to sleeper berth requirements.

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