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Trucking industry group fights new driver rest rules

February 17, 2012

truckThe American Trucking Associations filed a petition this week with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia asking the court to review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final hours-of-service rule.

“We regret that FMCSA and the Obama administration have put ATA and its member companies in a position to take this legal action,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said today. “The rules that have been in place since 2004 have contributed to unprecedented improvement in highway safety. The law is clear about what steps FMCSA must undertake to change the rules and we cannot allow this rulemaking, which was fueled by changed assumptions and analyses that do not meet the required legal standards, to remain unchallenged."

Although the final rule did not include a proposal to shorten truckers' driving days to 11-hour limits, it does require a 34-hour rest period each week -- something the industry maintains would require drivers to be off two consecutive nights, said Sean McNally, a spokesman for the trucking group.

The ATA says it's committed to working with FMCSA on areas that have a greater impact on truck safety like speed and improving compliance with existing rules.