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Trucking | Hours of service | Transportation

Court upholds most of trucker hours-of-service rule

August 2, 2013

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Washington – A federal appeals court on Aug. 2 upheld all but one provision of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2011 hours-of-service final rule.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated FMCSA’s requirement for short-haul drivers to take 30-minute rest breaks following eight hours of driving, but rejected the remainder of two petitions for review.

In one petition, the Arlington, VA-based American Trucking Associations testified that the final rule’s provisions are too restrictive on truck drivers’ schedules and may endanger roadway safety by causing truckers to drive during congested roadway hours. A second petition from advocacy group Public Citizen, on behalf of a group of safety organizations, claimed that the rule’s allowance of an 11th hour of daily driving may fatigue drivers and jeopardize roadway safety.

The current HOS rule, which allows a driver to “restart” his or her weekly driving hours – after 34 consecutive hours of rest – only once during a seven-day period, went into full effect on July 1.