Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx sent Wednesday, Sept. 18, to 51 House members a response letter defending the current hours of service rule and saying it is the result of years of research into driver fatigue and safety and analysis of comments from the public.
The letter was individually addressed and sent to each of the 51 signees of a letter sent to Foxx in August criticizing the hours of service rule and its implementation.
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), has been an outspoken proponent of the current hours rule and spearheaded the Aug. 29 letter to DOT head Foxx, which called the hours rule “counter to commonsense” and requested the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provide it with a date as to when an hours of service study required by the MAP-21 highway funding law — passed last year – would be completed. Hanna also released a statement this week saying he intends to “restore some commonsense to this flawed regulatory process,” referring to the hours rule.
In his letter, Foxx points to the fact that the MAP-21 legislation “was enacted well after the” final hours rule was published in December 2011. The letter from House members was critical of FMCSA and the DOT for the rule going final even though the MAP-21-required study had not been completed.
Foxx said the hours rule “is also the result of input from a wide range of stakeholders, including trucking companies, drivers, law enforcement, unions and safety advocates,” in addition to the aforementioned research.
The data collection phase of the study has been completed, however, says Foxx, who also wrote that the agency is in the “final stages of analysis.”
A date to which the study will be reported to Congress could not be provided, says Foxx, but the agency is working to get it finished and reported, he says.