U.S. Court of Appeals issues opinion allowing for many FMCSA hours-of-service rules to stand

On August 2, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion in a case which presented two challenges to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2011 hours-of-service (HOS) rule. In American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, et al., the Court reviewed claims from two groups, American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) and various public entities, regarding HOS rules.

According to the opinion issued, American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) claimed that the provisions in the FMCSA’s 2011 HOS rule were expensive and restrictive. In contrast, the public interest entities, grouped together as “Public Citizen”, asserted that the 2011 HOS provisions were insufficient in protecting the public’s safety. In response, the FMSCA indicated that the provisions were “just right.”

After reviewing the claims presented by both groups, the Court affirmed the FMCSA’s 2011 HOS rule, allowing most of the provisions to stand. However, the Court did vacate one portion of the rule, specifically the “application of the 30 minute-break to short-haul drivers.” In other words, short-haul drivers will not be required by the new HOS rule to take a 30-minute break from driving every 8 hours.

See the U.S. Court of Appeals’ opinion at:$file/12-1092-1449738.pdf

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