Owner Operators Go To Court Over Hours Of Service

“We will appeal the [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s] hours of service,” said Paul Cullen Sr., general counsel for the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). His statement came on the eve of the FMCSA’s full enforcement of the hours of service rules issued last August.

OOIDA is focusing on two facets of the new rules. It is opposed to the split sleeper-berth provision and its effect on team drivers. Under the new rules, drivers using a sleeper berth cannot split their 10 hours of off-duty time in the sleeper berth into shorter periods. One period must be at least eight consecutive hours. The prior rules allowed drivers more latitude in how they split the time. OOIDA wants the old version of the split sleeper-berth provision from 2003 for team drivers, and it has petitioned FMCSA that both minimum rest periods under the new sleeper-berth provision be excluded from the 14-hour on-duty limit for solo drivers.

The driver group was supportive of the fact the rules didn’t require electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs). A federal court had directed FMCSA to address the issue of EOBRs, and FMCSA responded by issuing a separate notice of proposed rulemaking.

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