A federal appeals court upheld the majority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service rule last week.
At the centre of the case were the challenges made by the American Trucking Associations against the restrictions on the 34-hour restart provision and the mandatory 30-minute break for drivers. The court upheld both aspects of the rule, which took effect on July 1.
It did, however, overturn FMCSA’s decision not to exempt shorthaul drivers from the requirement to take 30-minute breaks before driving more than eight hours straight.
ATA filed suit last year, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to vacate the rule, which it said used flawed assumptions and analysis and was costly as well as “arbitrary and capricious.”
Dave Osiecki, ATA senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs, said the association is disappointed with the decision, but added, “the striking down of the shorthaul break provision is an important victory.”
ATA had argued that the rule was “overly restrictive and costly,” while Public Citizen, representing a collection of public interest groups, argued the rule “is insufficiently protective of public safety,” the court stated. FMCSA came “down squarely in the middle, believing it got everything ‘just right,’” the ruling said.
In a brief statement, FMCSA said it was “pleased with the court’s decision” and “will soon take additional action, as needed, for its full implementation.”