Obama Administration’s Rules on Driver Fatigue Challenged by Trucking Industry
Trucking companies are legally challenging the Obama Administration’s rules aimed to ensure that commercial truckers on the road get enough rest.
The American Trucking Association revealed that it has filed a petition with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia this week asking the court to review the recently published final rule of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which changes commercial truck drivers’ hours-of-service regulations.
The trucking industry association claims that the new regulations are based on flawed assumptions and research. The group also said that any perceived benefits are overshadowed by the extra costs they are sure to incur.
According to the ATA, the new rules are not needed because there are regulations already in place which are designed to minimize crashes.
The new hours-of-service or HOS rule of the FMCSA trims down by twelve hours the maximum number of hours that a truck driver can work each week. Under the old regulation, truck drivers can work on an average of eighty-two hours within a week. The drivers’ work week under the new HOS final rule is limited to seventy hours. The new rule also mandates truck drivers to have a thirty-minute rest period after every eight hours.
“We regret that FMCSA and the Obama administration have put ATA and its member companies in a position to take this legal action,” said Bill Graves, the President and CEO of ATA.
He also said, “The rules that have been in place since 2004 have contributed to unprecedented improvement in highway safety. The law is clear about what steps FMCSA must undertake to change the rules and we cannot allow this rulemaking, which was fueled by changed assumptions and analyses that do not meet the required legal standards, to remain unchallenged.