Court upholds trucking's exemption to Calif. rest break laws

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021: 

Trucking’s exemption to Calif. break laws upheld in court
A high-level federal court has sided with the U.S. DOT in exempting trucking companies from California state laws that required motor carriers to provide paid rest breaks and regular meal breaks to truck operators. The regs had since 2014 been the source of litigation against trucking companies operating in the state who had not provided those breaks to drivers. 

However, in December 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration intervened, granting a petition filed by the American Trucking Associations asking for a waiver from the regs for interstate carriers. ATA argued that the California laws interfered with federal hours of service regulations and thus were superseded by federal regs, according to the 1996 Federal Aviation Administration Act. FMCSA pointed to the 1996 FAAAA as its justification for the waiver. 

The Teamsters sued FMCSA in February 2019, hoping to invalidate its decision. 

Last week, however, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that FMCSA had the discretion to issue a waiver from California regs for interstate carriers under the FAAAA statute. 

The only court above the 9th Circuit is the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s unclear whether the Teamsters will appeal to the nation’s high court on the issue.

Werner announces investment in TuSimple
Werner Enterprises (CCJ Top 250, No. 11) announced an equity investment in autonomous trucking tech firm TuSimple.

Werner says the relationship will bolster its commitment to its Werner EDGE technology initiative.

“At Werner, our professional drivers are the backbone of our organization, and they work day-in and day-out to keep America moving,” says Derek Leathers, Vice Chairman, President and CEO, Werner. “Staying current with emerging technologies helps us remain focused on improving our drivers’ lives, keeping them safer, providing our drivers with best-in-class equipment and helping them achieve long-term careers in the trucking industry.”

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TuSimple aims to scale self-operating technologies to improve safety and fuel efficiency. Through this investment, Werner boosts its focus on the growth and deployment of automated driving systems, the regulations required for increased safety, reduced carbon emissions and eventual industry adoption.'s 'Book It Now' integrated into MercuryGate TMS
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