ATA Suit Challenges FMCSA Hours-of-Service Reduction

The fight over how many hours per week truckers can be behind the wheel was brought to a federal appeals court on Tuesday, Feb. 14, when American Trucking Associations asked for a review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s recent change.

In late December, FMCSA released details of its new rule, reducing total driver hours from 82 to 70 per week. ATA objects to the rule, in addition to other requirements that call for a 34-hour rest period before drivers can start logging a new week. ATA questions the assumptions and analyses that were used in creating the new rule, and argues that factors used do not meet required legal standards.

This rule is a compromise rule. The FMCSA did not return the maximum 11 hours of driving without rest to the 10 hours requested by safety advocates, despite the fact that last year was the first year in many that trucking fatalities rose. It seems to me that no matter what the FMCSA decides, one side or the other will appeal. It is my hope that the agency can begin focusing on enforcement of the existing rules, including passing a workable EOBR rule to help ensure driver and company compliance with the hours of service regulations.

TRUCK ACCIDENT FAST FACT: According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Long Combination Vehicles (LCVs) are likely to be involved in a fatal truck accident at rates at least 11% higher than single tractor trailers.

(Photo credit: www.ScaniaNewsroom.com)

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