Trucking Federal agencies Hours of service

FMCSA, ATA divided over report on hours-of-service research

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Photo: welcomia/iStock/Thinkstock

Washington – The American Trucking Associations is taking issue with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s interpretation of a new Government Accountability Office report on FMCSA’s research into the federal hours-of-service rule for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

GAO released a 127-page report that analyzed FMCSA’s research and findings on the rule, which was implemented in 2013 and suspended – pending further research – in 2014. In its report, GAO said FMCSA’s study “did not completely meet certain research standards” and recommended that the agency adopt additional guidance regarding its standards of research.

FMCSA agreed with GAO’s recommendation and said action is forthcoming – adding that GAO’s report reinforced the positive safety impact of stricter HOS limits for truck drivers. “This GAO report provides further evidence that the changes FMCSA made to the HOS rules improve highway safety by saving lives and lowering the risk of driver fatigue,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in a press release.

American Trucking Associations Executive Vice President Dave Osiecki said FMCSA tried to spin the results in its favor. “Not only did FMCSA’s field study shortcomings invite criticism,” Osiecki said in a press release, “so too does the agency’s attempt to spin the GAO findings. The public must have trust in its government. Unfortunately, FMCSA’s continued spin does not invite that trust.”