Variety of groups pan proposed HOS rule

March 22, 2011
Reviews are in on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed hours-of-service rule, and from shippers to law enforcement agencies, organizations are panning the agency’s proposal:

Reviews are in on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed hours-of-service rule, and from shippers to law enforcement agencies, organizations are panning the agency’s proposal:

•“Several of the proposed changes will create more difficulty for roadside inspectors and law enforcement officers to verify compliance . . . we believe the prudent course of action at this point would be to retain the current rules . . .”

— Stephen A Keppler, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance executive director

•“The proposed rule is not supported by existing safety and health data . . . Advocacy recommends that FMCSA consider retaining its current regulations while conducting additional research to determine whether changing the current rules will meet the agency’s stated objective of improving safety, enhancing driver health and providing flexibility . . . The proposed rule would reduce flexibility and could actually impede safety and driver health.”

—US Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy

•“. . . the reality that the current hours-of-service rules have been functioning well and safely since they were made effective in 2004 seems to argue that it is ill-considered and inappropriate to propose such complex changes to the current hours-of-service rules.”

—Gregg Dal Ponte, administrator, Motor Carrier Transportation Division, Oregon DOT

•“The PUCO is concerned that the proposed rule will be promulgated without due consideration of the implementation activities that states will be forced to undertake.”

—Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

•“The proposed rule would reduce driving time for nighttime drivers. Meanwhile, nighttime deliveries to restaurants are becoming more and more common, particularly in quick-service restaurants. These nighttime deliveries reduce on-highway congestion across America’s largest metropolitan areas while minimizing interruptions in the operations of our members, particularly by lowering the number of deliveries that take place during peak hours, such as lunchtime.”

—Angelo I Amador, vice-president of labor and workforce policy, National Restaurant Association

•“. . . the league is very concerned that the HOS rule would remove flexibility for motor carriers and shippers, and impose unnecessary and costly measure on operators of commercial motor vehicles, based on alleged safety benefits that are not well-founded in science . . .”

—National Industrial Transportation League

•“FMCSA’s own health and safety data do not support the proposed changes. Moreover, several provisions of the proposed rules would significantly diminish operational flexibility for SFA-member fleets.”

—Snack Food Association

•“The Chamber finds this proposed regulation of particular concern since it is in direct contradiction to President Barack Obama’s executive order which takes aim at unnecessary and burdensome regulation on business, particularly small business. If implemented in its current form, this regulation would be a model for such regulation that actually produces lower safety standards while simultaneously hurting business productivity in the domestic and global supply chain.”

—US Chamber of Commerce

•“The proposed limits for driver hours will result in a full range of issues including less-efficient dedicated operations, more congested pick-up and delivery windows, substantial reprogramming costs, and additional training costs. The net result will be more trucks and drivers, shorter hauls, limits on rural markets, and overall increased costs due to less capacity.”

—Jeffrey K Peterson, Ecolab Inc

•“If the intent is to continue improving safety with the United States, I believe that these rules are a step in the wrong direction. . . . I think a lot more realistic research and study time needs to be put in here so that we’re careful that we don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken.”

—Kevin G Perry, transportation director, Lowe’s

•“The NAM is concerned that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed rule does not demonstrate why a departure from the current rule is necessary to achieve the program’s safety goals. The current rules have proven successful in achieving reductions in truck-related fatalities and truck accidents.”

—Robyn M Boerstling, director, transportation and infrastructure policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

The preceding comments were taken from the public regulatory docket FMCSA opened for its proposal.