Hours-of-Service Rules Effective Date in Question

Hours-of-Service Rules Effective Date in Question
Diesel Prices

The Federal Motor Career Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rejected the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) request to delay implementation of its new hours-of-service (HOS) rule. This rejection has caused the ATA to openly criticize the FMCSA as the belief is that the delay could help the new law avoid significant logistical issues.

“The requested delay will avoid potentially duplicative and unnecessary training, prevent confusion if the court’s decision alters in any manner the final rule and, given the anticipated short length of the delay, will have no measureable impact on highway safety,” said ATA president & CEO Bill Graves in a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro.

FMCSA Chief Counsel T.F. Scott Darling III replied to the letter from Graves and explained that uncertainty in the minds of the ATA does not indicate a likelihood that the industry or enforcement community would suffer. He goes on to say that the agency is not willing to sacrifice what could be months of safety benefits.

ATA general counsel Prasad Sharma believed the rejection of the extension will be quite costly for both the trucking industry and the enforcement community. The transition costs associated with being in compliance by the original date of July 1 could cost the trucking industry alone $320 million. These costs estimate the time to train drivers on the new rule, software reprogramming and the related transition costs published by the FMCSA.

The $320 million cost does not include costs to shippers, receivers and others in the supply chain.

“At a time of rising diesel prices, increased equipment and labor cots, the decision by the head of FMCSA to reject a reasonable request for a brief delay in enforcing this rule is unbelievable,” said Graves.

Posted in: Trucking News

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