Hours of Service

> View Advocacy Video Brief of NASSTRAC Legal Counsel John Cutler.
 
Issue Background

FMSCA’s decision to revise the current rules for commercial truck drivers happened at the end of December 2011. The new rules retain the current 11-hour daily driving limit, but require drivers to take at least one half-hour break during eight hours. It also changes the restart provisions and mandates that a driver must have two consecutive periods from 1:00am to 5:00am before the driver can resume driving. According to some truckload carriers this could reduce capacity by as much as 7% to 9%.

We also are tracking initiatives by safety groups to have the FMCSA reconsider reducing the driving limit from 11 hours to 10 hours. Full compliance is not required until July 1, 2013, in apparent recognition that time will be needed to adjust to these changes. 10 hours. Full compliance is not required until July 1, 2013, in apparent recognition that time will be needed to adjust to these changes.
 
Our Position

NASSTRAC joined with American Trucking Associations and other shipper and motor carrier interests in filing a brief on Oct. 1 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is considering challenges to FMCSA’s latest HOS rules.

This brief supports the FMCSA decision to retain the 11th hour of daily driving time, based upon findings that the benefits of that decision outweigh costs. NASSTRAC also supports ATA’s goal of more flexibility as to restarts between workweeks. In addition, the brief argues that Public Citizen and other interests pushing to reduce driver hours do not have legal standing to make their arguments. NASSTRAC also has participated in an amicus brief emphasizing that over the last decade, the 11-hour maximum has been accompanied by steady improvements in safety. In March, NASSTRAC intervened in the court appeal brought by Public Citizen and other interests as to the most recent HOS decision by the FMCSA. For a decade, NASSTRAC has defended hours of service rules that improve highway safety while recognizing the need of motor carriers and their customers for reliability, efficient use of capacity, and productivity. And, year after year under the old hours of service rules, crash and fatality rates went down.

In March 2013, the case will be argued before the Court of Appeals, with the decision expected later this year. NASSTRAC continues to monitor this issue closely..

(Updated May 30, 2013)