American Trucking Associations filed a petition with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia asking the court to review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s recently published final rule changing the hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.
“We regret that FMCSA and the Obama administration have put ATA and its member companies in a position to take this legal action,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves 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.”
“FMCSA’s own analyses show that even when they overstate the safety benefits of these changes, the costs created by their rule still outweigh those benefits. We need this issue to be resolved in a credible manner, taking into account the undisputed crash reduction since 2004, so we can focus limited government and industry resources on safety initiatives that will have a far greater impact on highway safety,” Graves said.
ATA added that it will support FMCSA’s move toward mandated electronic on-board recorders to ensure greater compliance with the current HOS rules, and to facilitate better enforcement of those rules.
Since operating speed and “traveling too fast for conditions” in particular is, according to FMCSA data, a greater highway safety concern than fatigue, ATA said it also supports:
• a new government requirement for large trucks to be electronically speed limited;
• a return to a national maximum speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles to avoid safety consequences of car-truck speed differentials; and
• greater deployment of automated speed and traffic enforcement technologies.
Related Articles: Hours of Service Debate Goes into Overtime