The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced it won’t delay the July 1 start date for enforcing the latest changes to its HOS rule for truck drivers. In January, American Trucking Associations asked FMCSA not to enforce parts of the rule until three months after pending litigation ends. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is scheduled March 15 to hear oral arguments in the case.
FMCSA responded in a Feb. 22 letter to ATA, according to Transport Topics, with this statement: "Mere uncertainty over the possible outcome of the litigation, which you recognize is a matter over which the parties differ, does not create likelihood that the industry or the enforcement community will suffer harm due to wasted training resources or confusion.” However, FMCSA said it believes the rule is valid and not likely to be delayed if ATA asked a federal court to impose a stay, or court-ordered delay.
ATA opposes a provision of the rule that restricts use of the 34-hour restart. It allows truck drivers to reset their weekly driving limits of 60 hours in seven days, or 70 hours in eight days, if they rest for 34 hours. Truck drivers will now be able to use the restart only once every seven days, and the restart will have to include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
NASSTRAC joined ATA and other shipper and carrier interests in filing a brief Oct. 1 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is considering challenges to FMCSA’s latest rules. This brief supports the FMCSA decision to retain the 11th hour of daily driving time, based upon findings that the benefits of that decision outweigh costs. NASSTRAC also supports ATA’s goal of more flexibility as to restarts between workweeks. Visit www.FreightAdvocacy.org for more information on NASSTRAC’s advocacy initiatives.