Safety Groups Mount Last-Minute Legal Challenge to FMCSA’s New H.O.S. Final Rule
Washington D.C. – A coalition of safety groups along with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is mounting a last-minute legal challenge to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) newly issued changes to hours of service (HOS) regulations.
On Wednesday, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) announced it was joining with the Teamsters, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) in a legal challenge filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to “invalidate” the new HOS final rule.
In a statement, the coalition called the rule “flawed” and argued the “drastic changes… will further exacerbate the already well-known threat of fatigue among commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.”
The HOS changes are set to take effect September 29.
In June, Transportation Nation Network was the first to report these groups filed a Petition for Reconsideration with the FMCSA to stay the effective date.
Click HERE to read more about the Petition.
However, the FMCSA reportedly dismissed the Petition in August.
“By issuing this HOS regulation FMCSA has bowed to special trucking industry interests at the expense of highway safety, seeking longer workdays for drivers who are already being pushed to the limit,” the Teamsters said. “We join this lawsuit to ensure that our members and their families are protected from fatigued drivers when they use our nation’s highways.”
CRASH’s Chair Joan Claybrook cited the alarming rise in trucker crash deaths as a reason the Court should halt the new rule.
“Under this Administration truck crash deaths are increasing, and we know what needs to be done to reverse this trend,” she said. “Nevertheless, FMCSA is working overtime to dismantle and weaken the minimal safety protections that still remain for drivers and the public. We hope the courts will halt FMCSA’s ill-advised and dangerous proposal.”
The Agency’s final rule has largely been embraced by trucking industry stakeholders though reaction in the driving community has been mixed.
TNN will continue to follow this story closely as the effective date approaches.