March 12, 2013 9:30 AM, EDT

Appeals Court to Hear HOS Arguments Friday

American Trucking Associations and a coalition of public interest advocates are expected to tell a federal court on Friday to strike down portions of the latest changes to federal hours-of-service rules.

In briefs filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, ATA has argued that in putting restrictions on the optional 34-hour restart that drivers could use to reset their weekly driving limits, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration overstated the role of fatigue in truck-related crashes, thus improperly tipping the scales in favor of the restrictions.

The changes, set to take effect July 1, also require drivers to take a 30-minute break before driving more than eight hours.

Public Citizen and its allies, meanwhile, have urged the court to force FMCSA to further restrict drivers’ hours, saying the agency did not fulfill its duty to improve highway safety when it chose not to do that.