Hours of Service: One Year Delay?

September 21, 2007: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has asked for a one-year stay of the Court of Appeals decision striking down two aspects of the Hours of Service regulations.

In July the court unanimously struck down the 11-hour driving time and the 34-hour restart, which allows drivers to work more than 70 hours in an eight day period. It was the second time the court had slapped the FMCSA for putting profits ahead of drivers’ health and public safety. The same rules were tossed out in 2004; at that time the employer got Congress to pass legislation retaining the 11-hour rule on an interim basis.

Now, instead of devising a plan to phase-in compliance with the 10-hour driving rule, the agency has decided to support the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) motion for a long stay.

They want that time to try to repackage the regulations, in hopes of getting the court to agree that they are in compliance with the law.

Public Citizen, the public-interest law firm that won the case, will oppose this long stay.

The court has not yet set a date for a hearing on the issue. Until the court rules, the existing 11-hour driving time rule stays in effect.

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