David Osiecki, president of Scopelitis Transporation Consulting, reports he learned from FMCSA management that the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety (AHAS) and the Teamsters filed a legal challenge to the HOS rules today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
In a statement on its website, AHAS said: “In June, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced drastic changes to federal truck driver hours of service (HOS) rules. Under the guise of increased flexibility, the changes will further exacerbate the already well-known threat of fatigue among commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers by significantly weakening current HOS rules.
“Specifically, provisions that ensured drivers receive a brief 30-minute break after being on duty for eight hours and that govern the operations of drivers who start and return to the same location and remain within a defined geographic area known as “short haul” operations were significantly altered. In proposing these revisions, the FMCSA contradicted its own prior conclusions on these very issues and failed to undertake a proper analysis of the impacts the rule will have on truck drivers and the motoring public. As such, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) have filed a petition today with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking to invalidate this flawed rule.”
Had the Window for Challenges to the HOS Rule Closed?
Osiecki commented that some thought the 60-day litigation window on these rules had already closed (since the rule was published on June 1), but the 60 days actually started when FMCSA denied in early September the AHAS/Teamster petition for reconsideration of the rule changes.
“While things are fluid, it’s my/our view this legal challenge to the HOS rules is not likely to stop the Sept 29 implementation of the rule changes,” Osiecki said. “AHAS and the Teamsters would have to convince the Court in the next 12 days that so much safety-related harm would be done if the rules were implemented, the Court needs to step in and stay implementation. That is a very steep hill to climb, which is why we don’t think it will happen.”
Make sure you’re up to speed on the final rule changes before they go into effect on Sept. 29—get our latest report from Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, Summary of FMCSA’s Hours of Service Rule Changes – June 2020.