Court upholds most of HOS, vacates required breaks for short haulers
Friday, August 02, 2013
Posted by: Ford Boswell
As expected the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
Circuit has issued its long-awaited ruling on American Trucking Associations’
challenge to the most recent revisions in the hours-of-service rules, striking
down a provision requiring short-haul drivers to take 30-minute off-duty break,
but leaving the bulk of the rule unchanged.
we are disappointed the Court chose to give unlimited deference to the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s agenda-driving rulemaking, the striking
down of the short-haul break provision is an important victory,” said Dave
Osiecki, ATA senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs.
the 30-minute break requirement for short-haul drivers was vacated, the Court
upheld the new limitations on the use of the restart and the requirement that
the 30-minute driving break be free of all on-duty activity. The Court acknowledged
that FMCSA’s justification for the rule had serious flaws, but declined to
second guess the agency’s methodologies and interpretations of the evidence.
the Court found no merit in the challenge of the coalition of interest groups
led by Public Citizen that have repeatedly fought to make a working regulation
more restrictive, correctly concluding it "would have been unreasonable and
unfounded on the record” to reduce the driving day from 11 to 10 hours. The
Court also summarily rejected the groups’ call to eliminate the restart
court recognized on numerous occasions the shortcomings of the agency’s
deliberations, so despite upholding most of the rule, we hope this opinion will
serve as a warning to FMCSA not to rely on similarly unsubstantiated
rulemakings in the future,” Osiecki said. "One thing this rulemaking makes
clear is that fatigue is a small problem when viewed through a crash causation
lens. ATA hopes FMCSA will work with the trucking industry to address more
pressing safety and driver behavior issues, including those than can be directly
affected through proven traffic enforcement activities aimed at unsafe