Groups unite to push for HOS stay

Several interest groups and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are joining forces to seek a 12-month stay in changes to current hours of service

Several interest groups and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are joining forces to seek a 12-month stay in changes to current hours of service (HOS) regulations to prevent major disruptions to trucking operations.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the 11-hour and 34-hour restart rules within current HOS regulations back on July 27, giving the FMCSA 60 days to come up with a replacement. To give the agency and the industry as a whole more time to develop alternatives, the American Trucking Association (ATA) asked the court for a 12-month stay last week – with the support of various shipper and law enforcement groups, as well as FMCSA itself.

“We are pleased that the agency has supported our motion,” said ATA’s President and CEO Bill Graves. “It is also important to note that the FMCSA states that ‘available data show that continuing the status quo will not diminish safety.’”

FMCSA stated in a memorandum that, “a stay is needed to prevent substantial disruption of trucking operations,” adding that timing concerns and significant transition costs to the industry warranted a stay to the rule change.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), which represents state and federal law enforcement officials, also noted that a sudden change to the HOS rules would lead to a patchwork of state requirements that would undermine safety enforcement and not allow sufficient time to train law enforcement personnel on a new regulatory regime.

The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), Retail Industry Leaders Association, The National Small Shipments Traffic Conference, and the Health and Personal Care Logistics Conference also joined in a filing, warning that “a sudden change will substantially interfere with the ‘just in time’ delivery systems,” disrupting schedules and transit times, concerns about lawful and permissible operations, and, inevitably delayed deliveries.

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