The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) has filed a motion to intervene in the legal challenge filed with with the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit by four safety groups seeking to overturn the current hours-of-service (HOS) rules.
According to ATA, the two previous lawsuits against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that sought to overturn the same HOS regulations failed to invalidate the science and safety of the regulations. The trucking lobby also said that the overall large truck fatality rate is at its lowest level since records have been kept.
“Despite these tangible results, the groups continue to challenge the HOS rules to no avail, contending that the rules allow significantly longer driving and on-duty times in a week than the pre-2004 rules,” ATA said. “In response to this claim, FMCSA stated that ‘longer hypothetical hours in driving and duty schedules’ envisioned by critics ‘requires an imaginary world with nearly perfect logistics.’ In the real world, drivers have found that the 34-hour restart gives them more rest and time off, not less.”
ATA also noted that the rate of occupational injuries and illnesses in the trucking industry decreased nearly 18% between 2004 and 2007, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, all years in which the current HOS rules have been in place.