Trucking association sues FMCSA over HOS criteria

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is under pressure to produce criteria for supporting documents that motor carriers and commercial truck drivers must maintain to verify drivers have conformed to hours-of-service regulations.

The Arlington, VA-based American Trucking Associations announced Jan. 19 that it filed a petition (.pdf file) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a writ of mandamus -- an action by which a court can compel government officials to perform their legal duties. The petition asks the court to require FMCSA to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking by mid-March and a final rule no more than six months later for regulations regarding "supporting documents" noted in provisions of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act of 1994.

According to the petition, Congress directed FMCSA to provide the criteria 15 years ago, but the agency has failed to do so. The result is an enforcement process that "has been carried out in a regulatory vacuum in which carriers and drivers remain uncertain about what documents to keep and how to maintain them," according to ATA.

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