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March 26, 2013 2:00 PM, EDT

FMCSA Holding to July 1 HOS Date, Ferro Says

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Despite receiving requests from a bipartisan group of seven lawmakers in transportation oversight roles, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will not delay the July 1 effective date of the latest changes to its hours-of-service rule, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said here Friday.

Ferro reiterated the benefits she said FMCSA projected for the rule, telling reporters that delaying it would postpone those benefits.

“The hours-of-service rule has tangible safety benefits in reducing … cumulative fatigue,”  she said. “And it’s a very important rule to move forward on.”

The lawmakers, who lead the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and transportation appropriations committees in both chambers of Congress, asked that the rule be delayed until three months after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decides its fate.

A federal appeals court heard arguments last Friday on the HOS regulation and has yet to rule, but Ferro warned that could be a long wait.

“Who here can really predict the timing of the court decision? That could be a full year plus lost on some important safety benefits,” Ferro said. “So July is the effective date.”