ATA files brief supporting HOS rules

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The American Trucking Associations recently filed its brief as an intervener in Public Citizen’s challenge to the 2005 revisions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service regulations. In the Aug. 25 brief, ATA supported the agency’s determination that the new rules do not adversely affect driver health and its decision to retain the 11-hour daily driving limit and 34-hour restart provision from the 2003 HOS rules.

ATA explained that by reducing driver fatigue, the new rules addressed driver health concerns related to or caused by chronic fatigue. With respect to the 11-hour daily driving limit, ATA cited recent studies that found no greater evidence of fatigue during the 11th hour of driving and explained that time awake (with 16 hours as the normal limit) is a far more reliable indicator of fatigue than time on task.

Regarding the 34-hour restart, ATA noted that because of the expanded daily rest period, no significant cumulative fatigue should develop and noted that several scientific studies had concluded that a 34-hour break period was sufficient to allow drivers to zero-out any built-up fatigue.

Final briefs in the case are due by Sept. 29, and oral argument is expected to be set in October or November.