ATA Testifies in Support of Hours-of-Service Rule
Teamsters, Public Citizen Challenge FMCSA
American Trucking Associations testified Wednesday before a Senate subcommittee in support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service rule, but two groups opposing the regulation challenged the agency.
The groups, the Teamsters union and Public Citizen — which have successfully forced legal review of the rule — blasted the agency for keeping the regulation essentially intact, allowing drivers 11 hours behind the wheel daily and letting them reset the weekly limit after a 34-hour break.
FMCSA’s interim rule retains key components of the 2004 truck driver work and rest rules, which ATA says have contributed to improved safety on the nation’s highways.
Dave Osiecki, ATA’s vice president of safety, security and operations, testified that in the past four years the HOS rules have contributed to significant decreases in the number of fatal large truck crashes, the fatal large truck crash rate, the number of injuries from truck involved-crashes and the injury crash rate.
“ATA supports the new hours of service rules because they are working,” he said.
Osiecki testified before the Senate Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on surface transportation, saying the current HOS rules represented a “balanced set of rules” that promote driver alertness through natural work and rest cycles while providing the industry with operational flexibility.
The Teamsters union said in a statement that FMCSA did not take all scientific data into account in developing the rule.
Joan Claybrook, president Public Citizen — which has sued FMCSA over the rule and forced its review in court — also challenged the agency’s rule at the hearing, calling the allowable driving times unsafe.