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Safety groups, Teamsters challenge HOS final rule in federal court

Lawsuit will not prevent HOS rules from going into effect on Sept. 29.

HOS are scheduled to go into effect Sept. 29. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Three safety groups and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are suing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in federal court in an effort to rollback changes made to driver hours-of-service rules scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 29.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), and the Teamsters filed the petition Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The petition notes that the FMCSA in August denied the group’s petition for reconsideration.

The filing will not prevent the HOS rule changes from going into effect, according to Adina Rosenbaum, a lawyer with Public Citizen, the advocacy group representing the petitioners. “Instead, when the case is over and if we succeed in our challenge, we’ll be asking the court to set aside the rule. At that point it would no longer be in effect,” Rosenbaum told FreightWaves.

The changes to HOS rules, which were finalized by FMCSA on June 1, “will further exacerbate the already well-known threat of fatigue among commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers by significantly weakening current HOS rules,” the petitioners asserted in a press statement.

“Specifically, provisions that ensured drivers receive a brief 30-minute break after being on duty for eight hours and that govern the operations of drivers who start and return to the same location and remain within a defined geographic area known as ‘short haul’ operations were significantly altered.”

They point out that in proposing the revisions, FMCSA “contradicted its own prior conclusions on these very issues and failed to undertake a proper analysis of the impacts the rule will have on truck drivers and the motoring public.”


  1. James Gibbons

    Have any of the FMCSA officials ever driven a truck for a living?Then how do you know what the drivers need.Sure there are some stupid drivers out there but every group has them .What we need is more parking areas not on the side of the highways .We need to spend less time looking for a place to sleep less time looking for parking so we can sit and eat a decent meal.How about taking some of the tax dollars and put the money where it is needed not on your salaries

  2. John

    These hours don’t work in all operations. What it means to me and thousands more is we never stop. I drive 4 1/2 hours to go to my terminal. Then I’m expected to load the freight then I’m expected to return as fast as I can. Go, go, go all the time. This rule change is BS for many of us.

  3. Chris Murphy

    What, a weird world we live in. Driving over 20 years short haul to long haul, and everything in between. Talked to fmca etc. The old rules force us to drive, new rules give us a little more window to take another nap then finish our day, safer. Especially after going through major city congestion, half the day, in multiple citys a day. It will flat wear you out. Then not deliver goods, on time and EVERYBODY these days wants to charge the truck driver, all the way back to the manufacturer then all the way to the consumer. Lots of buisness, puts unrealistic expectations on the time of delivery, due to fighting for contracts etc, to make a living. There is alot more to this than lots of people can understand.
    I guess small vehicle drivers just need more ways to sue some one for a easy life instead of realize, that driving is a privilege and very dangerous in its own way everyday. MITE AS WELL TAKE ON CAR MANUFACTURERS FOR MAKING SUCH SMALL ASS CARS, THAT LOok LIKE STUPID RC CARS ANYWAY. MADE OUT OF TIN FOIL, and PLASTIC.
    JUST DRIVE IF YA LIKE, ASSUME THE RISK, OR DONT DRIVE IF YOU ARENT UP TO THE TASK………God bless and take responsibility for you putting the keys in the ignition, accidents will happen. We are human.

    Humanity’s problem is its self not just one group or another. I guess people love war fighting and calling names. A bunch of immature children pulling hair and doing the blam game.

  4. Joseph Ham

    Get rid of hos its dangerous some of us who are actually on the road continue to tell some of you block heads this but you seem to refuse hearing us out as if you know better than everyone over the road. It backs up rd fills up rest areas and truck stops it’s not safe. Good gosh what is so hard to understand?

  5. Brian

    The teamsters are stupid. So they would prefer to force drivers to drive 11 hours and to not allow the driver to take a break if they felt tired or sick. Why doea that make sense? If a driver is up all day and then starts driving they might need to take a nap rather then crash into a family. The transfers just want to line their pockets because keeping it the way it is now cost the consumers more at the store.

  6. Jeff

    Teamsters are involved, well gee. Union workers don’t know what it means to actually work for a living. They are the reason i get held ip almost every day. As far as rest 10 hours is about 2 hours to long. Most of us barely sleep 6 or 7 hours anyway. Whats really needed is a 48 hour reset rile. 34 is a joke. Barely get any real time off with that.

    1. Joseph Ham

      We shouldn’t have hrs of service capping our drive time we should be able to park and get needed rest required and keep rolling dot needs to stop with the hrs of service all together

  7. Steven Howdock

    The changes are a step in the right direction for most otr drivers. We need to be able to sleep or take a break when we need it not when a box says you have to. The biggest danger to public safety from truckers is not fatigued drivers it is poorly trained drivers, and drivers who are to busy watching movies or texting to drive the truck.

Comments are closed.

John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.