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FMCSA Strongly Supports ATA Motion to Stay HOS Decision

FMCSA Strongly Supports ATA Motion to Stay HOS Decision

9/21/2007

Clayton Boyce

(703) 898-7902

 

   

ARLINGTON, Va. The American Trucking Associations welcomes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration memorandum that asks the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to delay implementing its ruling on regulations that govern the working hours of commercial drivers.

 

The FMCSA memorandum filed today strongly supports ATA’s request that the Court’s vacating of the 11- and 34-hour provisions of the hours-of-service rules be stayed pending their reconsideration by the agency.

 

"We are pleased that the agency has supported our motion and our view that the court ruled only on the procedures that FMCSA used in adoption of the Hours of Service regulations, and not on the regulations themselves," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves.  "It is also important to note that the FMCSA states that 'available data show that continuing the status quo will not diminish safety.'"

 

FMCSA said a stay was needed to “prevent substantial disruption of trucking operations,” and cited timing concerns and significant transition costs to the industry related to a rule change.  Those costs could “have to be incurred again,” FMCSA said.  The agency also predicted disruptions and confusion in HOS enforcement if the rules were changed.

 

Moreover, the agency expressly stated that it “agrees with ATA that maintaining the status quo will not harm public safety or driver health.”  In support of that statement, improving safety statistics were cited including a declining trend in fatigue-related accidents.

 

The agency noted that the Court had invalidated the 11- and 34-hour provision “on procedural grounds only” and that the “Court’s decision did not foreclose issuance of a new rule that contains the 11-hour and 34-hour provisions, assuming the agency provides the requisite notice and comment and adequately explains its reasoning.”

 

FMCSA suggested that the Court grant a 12-month stay during which it would conduct a new rulemaking to consider new data and address the procedural shortcomings identified by the Court. 

 

Click here for the FMCSA memorandum.

 

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.