Bipartisan group calls for abandoning proposed hours-of-service rule changes

March 16, 2011
A bipartisan group of US congressmen and senators have called on the Obama Administration to abandon its hours-of-service proposal and retain the current, effective safety rules.

A bipartisan group of US congressmen and senators have called on the Obama Administration to abandon its hours-of-service proposal and retain the current, effective safety rules.

“The rules currently in place are working well and do not need to be changed,” 122 representatives wrote to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Since the current rules were implemented seven years ago, the trucking industry’s safety performance has improved at an unprecedented rate.”

The letter notes that since the rules went into effect in 2004, the number of fatal and injury crashes involving large trucks have fallen to historic lows, even as trucks hauling the nation’s food, fuel, medicine, and other goods have driven almost 10 billion more miles.

“If the proposed changes are put in place, companies will be forced to increase the number of trucks on the road necessary for delivering the same amount of freight; adding to final product costs and increasing congestion on our nation’s highways,” a group of 23 senators wrote in their letter to LaHood.

Lawmakers added that the proposed rules are much more opaque and complex than current standards and “such complexity will only serve to hamper both industry compliance and motor carrier enforcement.”

“It is increasingly clear that this proposal is the result of political pressure and not a fair interpretation of trucking’s safety record,” said Bill Graves, American Trucking Associations president and chief executive officer. “ATA appreciates that some politicians are basing their views not on politics, but on the hard evidence that the current hours-of-service rules are working.”

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