Groups sue for action on rules

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Four organizations in late November asked a federal appeals court to order the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete several motor carrier safety rulemakings that are overdue for a number of years.

The groups – Public Citizen, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Parents Against Tired Truckers and Teamsters for a Democratic Union – petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Nov. 26 to require issuance of six rules that they say have missed their congressionally mandated deadlines by several year:

  • Minimum training requirements for drivers of longer-combination vehicles. Congress set a Dec. 18, 1993, deadline for a final rule.
  • Minimum training standards for entry-level drivers of commercial motor vehicles. The deadline was Dec. 18, 1993.
  • Hours-of-service revisions. The deadline was March 1, 1999.
  • Requirements for authorization to transport hazardous materials. The deadline was Nov. 16, 1991.
  • Background checks for new commercial drivers. The most recent deadline was Jan. 31, 1999.
  • Requirements for more truck safety inspectors at international borders. DOT was ordered to issue this rule by Dec. 9, 2000.

“FMCSA is looking at the case and will respond to any order the D.C. Circuit issues,” said agency spokesman David Longo. “Since its inception, the FMCSA has diligently worked toward fulfilling the regulatory desire of Congress and acknowledges that safety is our upmost mission.”

A copy of the lawsuit is available at this site.