At press time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had not yet ruled on the motion by Public Citizen asking that the old hours-of-service rules be reinstated as a result of the court's July 16 decision to toss out the new ones.
FMCSA. replied to Public Citizen's arguments and asked the Court to leave the new rules in place while it addresses the concerns expressed in the July 16 ruling.
The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, whose lawsuit had set the whole HOS issue spinning once more, told the Court it categorically opposes the main arguments for a stay in the HOS rules.
Public Citizen cited grave safety risks associated with the current HOS rules in its argument to have the Court deny motions to stay HOS and thus keep the old rules in effect until new rules are written.
FMCSA said Public Citizen's argument that the current rules are unsafe “provide nothing but speculation to support their assertion. There is no basis upon which one can conclude that the current rule — which is more stringent in some respects than the old rule — has resulted in diminished safety. Petitioners cite nothing to suggest that accidents have risen,” stated FMCSA.
The agency proposed a stay of six months to give it time to assess how long it would take to develop a new HOS rule and to administrate and enforce such a rule. The agency also said it would provide a status report in 90 days, and another report or a motion at the end of the six-month period.
The core argument of FMCSA's motion for a stay is that such an action is necessary “to avoid substantial disruption in the enforcement of HOS while affording the agency a reasonable amount of time to address the Court's decision.”
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