Press Release

ATA’s Statement Opposing FMCSA’s Move to Create Patchwork of Meal and Rest Break Rules

Aug 11, 2023

Washington — Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that it would consider petitions for waivers from the agency’s 2018 determination that California meal and rest break rules were preempted with respect to commercial drivers subject to federal hours-of-service regulations, and from its similar determination in 2020 regarding Washington State’s break rules.
In response, American Trucking Associations President & CEO Chris Spear issued this statement opposing FMCSA’s action:
“Ensuring a singular, national standard of work rules for professional drivers is crucial to both safety and the supply chain.  Congress first addressed this issue decades ago by passing F4A, and the USDOT’s authority to pre-empt state rules was unanimously reaffirmed in a 2021 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“Federal law already mandates rest breaks for drivers.  Unnecessary and duplicative state laws are not grounded in safety and have been primarily enforced via private lawsuits designed to extort the trucking industry.  Opening the door to this spurious litigation once again would impair the safe and efficient movement of interstate goods.
“ATA is fully prepared to oppose this effort that would result in a confusing patchwork of regulations.  We will leverage all of our Federation’s resources to stop this in its tracks.”