Court postpones hours-of-service rollback
A federal court on Monday responded to industry pleas by issuing a 90-day stay of its July order for the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to eliminate the 11-hour daily driving limit and 34-hour restart provisions governing driver work and rest periods.
The American Trucking Associations had asked for an eight-month stay, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia gave the Department of Transportation agency until the end of the year to revise its hours of service rules. The trucking industry has adapted to the 2005 driver regulations and argues that going back to the previous system for clocking driver work time would disrupt operations because the lost productivity would require more trucks, drivers and extensive reworking of schedules.
Safety groups have argued against the new rules, which add an extra hour to the daily limit a driver can be behind the wheel. But the court’s reasoning for negating the rules mostly rested on procedural problems and the data analysis on which the rulemaking was based.
FMCSA had asked for a one-year stay to revise the rules to meet the court’s mandate.