ATA files challenge against unwarranted HOS changes

In a brief filed July 24 with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, American Trucking Associations said federal rules further restricting drivers’ ability to work and drive would add tremendous cost to the economy and undue burden onto drivers while providing minimal possible safety benefits.

“From the outset of FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s) review of the hours-of-service rule, ATA has contended that the rules that have been in place since 2004 have been working and have been a major contributing factor in the reduction in truck-involved crashes and fatalities,” ATA President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Graves said. “FMCSA systematically, and without regard for science or logic, distorted the available data in order to fit it to a predetermined and arbitrary outcome. The brief filed today lays out this case convincingly and we believe the court will come to see the merits of our case and vacate these potentially ruinous changes.”

In its brief, ATA calls FMCSA’s changes “arbitrary and capricious as well as unwarranted.”

“The agency claims that restart restrictions and the off-duty break requirement are justified by the cost-benefit analysis in FMCSA’s Regulatory Impact Analysis. That ‘analysis,’ however, is a sham,” the brief said. “FMCSA stacked the deck in favor of its preferred outcome by basing its cost-benefit calculations on a host of transparently unjustifiable assumptions. FMCSA therefore cannot justify the 2011 final rule on the ground that it has net benefits.”

ATA continues to say the agency’s “purported justifications contradict the evidence in the administrative record and require the agency to ignore, without any supporting basis, numerous positions it previously adopted.”

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