The continuing saga of Hours of Service rules

The continuing saga of Hours of Service rules

by Cliff Lynch
26. February 2013 15:21

As most industry watchers know, in December, 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published its new driver hours of service rules, which among other things, reduce total weekly driver hours from 82 to 70 and require a 34-hour rest period between work weeks. The American Trucking Associations found several of the new provisions objectionable and filed suit seeking to overturn the changes.

red tractor-trailer
Will the revised CSA rules go
into effect this summer?

The new rules are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2013.

Oral arguments in the ATA proceedings are scheduled to begin on March 15 of this year; and on January 25, ATA wrote the FMCSA requesting that any new rules not become effective until at least 3 months after the lawsuit is settled. This week, the FMCSA refused to do so, saying that ATA had not demonstrated enough "harm to the industry" to warrant a delay.

While this issue certainly has dragged on long enough, with the FMCSA's refusal to delay implementation, a strong possibility (probably certainty) is that if the new rules are allowed to go into effect on July 1, they will only have to be changed again when the court decision comes down. And of course, depending on the outcome, that decision no doubt will be appealed. Bottom-line, we will continue to be in a state of uncertainty and confusion about drivers' hours of service rules for some time to come.

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