Law enforcement, shippers back ATA motion for stay of hours changes

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In five separate filings, law enforcement, shipping and trucking interests have come forward to support ATA’s request that the effect of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s hours-of-service decision be stayed pending the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s reconsideration of the 11- and 34-hour provisions. ATA said Thursday, Sept. 20, that the following organizations each have explained to the Court the disruptions to their members that would be caused by a transition to different hours rules:

  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which represents state and federal law enforcement officials, noted that a sudden change to the hours rules would lead to a patchwork of state requirements that would undermine safety enforcement and not allow sufficient time to train law enforcement personnel on a new regulatory regime. “Thousands of law enforcement officers will need to be retrained, which cannot be completed quickly or easily,” CVSA concluded.
  • National Industrial Transportation League and the Retail Industry Leaders Association joined in a filing that further described the impact on the nation’s shipping community and described the positive safety experience private shippers have had under the current hours rules. “A sudden change will substantially interfere with the ‘just in time’ delivery systems adopted by numerous businesses throughout the United States.”
  • National Small Shipments Traffic Conference and the Health and Personal Care Logistics Conference presented shipping community concerns for the possible elimination of the challenged provisions. The groups noted that the disruption of trucking industry operations also would disrupt shipper operations by causing “uncertainty as to schedules and transit times, concerns about lawful and permissible operations, and the inevitable delayed deliveries.” The rule changes could lead to businesses having to maintain higher inventory levels, which “is wasteful, costly and runs counter to the main goal of modern supply chain management.”
  • UPS explained the impact on its operations of having to shift away from an 11-hour daily limit and the probable need “to place more trucks on the nation’s highways, thereby adding to traffic congestion and pollution.”
  • Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association explained to the Court the problems its segment of the trucking industry would have with the possible rule changes. Oversize or overweight permits may no longer be valid if drivers governed by the changed rules could no longer meet the designated transportation schedule called for under the permit.
  • These filings will be available on ATA’s website at www.truckline.com. ATA’s motion for stay was necessitated by the Court of Appeals’ July 27 decision that vacated the 11-hour and 34-hour restart rules, stating that FMCSA had made procedural errors in developing them.

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