ATA Files Hours-of-Service Petition

Seeks Retention of 11-Hour Limit, 34-Hour Restart
TT File Photo

American Trucking Associations submitted a petition Friday asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to retain the 11-hour daily driving limit and 34-hour restart provisions of federal hours-of-service rules for truck drivers.

ATA — which had previously said it would file a petition following a July court ruling that threw out two HOS provisions — cited potential for “widespread disruption in the industry and the supply chain.”

The petition also asks FMCSA to establish a firm, expedited notice of proposed rulemaking process for addressing the issues identified by the U.S. Court of Appeals’ District of Columbia Circuit. (Click here for previous coverage.)

“There is no compelling safety reason for these two elements of the rule to be vacated,” ATA President Bill Graves said in a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters last month. FMCSA is part of DOT.

Contrary to the claims of some interest groups, the court 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, ATA said.

The petition argues that it will 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 also said that the inability of many states to immediately adapt to the new requirements will result in a patchwork of enforcement which could undermine the agency’s safety efforts.

(Click here for previous coverage.)