Hours of Service Regulations Upheld; A Decade of Court Battles Finally Over?

The Hours of Service battle in the courts has been going on for a decade. Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. upheld the bulk of the new HOS regulations. The court wrote that “the third time’s a charm,” referencing the fact that this court had overturned the regulations twice in the past. The current regs were challenged both by the ATA and various truck safety groups. The court denied petitions from all the groups with one small exception—the 30 minute break requirement does not apply to short-haul drivers.

This means that the regulations that went into effect July 1 are the law: 1) 34 hour restart must include two 1am to 5am periods and can only be used once in 7 days, 2) 30 minute break period after 8 hours, 3) the 11 hour driving limit.

Click here to read the decision. We seem to be left with more certainty than previous two go-arounds. I wouldn’t count on the issue making it to the Supreme Court. I do not know yet if any of the entities plan on appealing further. The battle may be over… we’ll see.

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