The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to retain the 11-hour daily driving limit and 34-hour restart components of the current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, citing the potential for “widespread disruption in the industry and the supply chain” if those two provisions are dropped.
The request is in response to a July 24 court decision that vacated those two HOS provisions, citing various procedural issues identified during the rulemaking process.
“There is no compelling safety reason for these two elements of the rule to be vacated,” said Gov. Bill Graves, ATA president & CEO, in a letter to Transportation Secretary Mary Peters last month. “Contrary to the claims of special interest groups, the Court’s decision did not state that the two elements were unsafe, merely that the FMCSA had not followed required procedures in developing those parts of the rule.”
Graves said that it would be impossible for the trucking industry to adapt to immediate changes in the daily driving limit and restart provisions without significant and costly impacts upon carriers’ operations. ATA’s petition also claims that the inability of many states to immediately adapt to the new requirements would result in a patchwork of enforcement, which could undermine FMCSA’s safety efforts.
ATA is also asking the agency to publish an Interim Final Rule by Sept. 14 to re-adopt the 11-hour driving limit and 34-hour restart and, within 60 days after that, publish a proposed rulemaking that addresses the issues identified by the court, along with a final rule within 180 days of the notice of proposed rulemaking’s publication.