Three safety groups and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are suing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in federal court in an effort to rollback changes made to driver hours-of-service rules scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 29.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), and the Teamsters filed the petition Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The petition notes that the FMCSA in August denied the group’s petition for reconsideration.
The filing will not prevent the HOS rule changes from going into effect, according to Adina Rosenbaum, a lawyer with Public Citizen, the advocacy group representing the petitioners. “Instead, when the case is over and if we succeed in our challenge, we’ll be asking the court to set aside the rule. At that point it would no longer be in effect,” Rosenbaum told FreightWaves.
The changes to HOS rules, which were finalized by FMCSA on June 1, “will further exacerbate the already well-known threat of fatigue among commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers by significantly weakening current HOS rules,” the petitioners asserted in a press statement.
“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.”
They point out that in proposing the revisions, 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.”