Four Safety Groups lawsuit against FMCSA

The Applicants are trying to roll back changes made to driver HOS rules that come into effect from September 29th. A petition was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, noting that the FMCSA rejected the group's request for reconsideration in August. The demandants — the Teamsters union, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Parents Against Tired Truckers.

As a reminder, the Final Rule includes four provisions that weaken restrictions for short-distance exclusions, adverse driving conditions, 30-minute breaks, and the sleeper berth provision. The changes, which will come into effect very soon, were seen as opportunities for greater flexibility within the ELD devices mandate. For this reason, they were approved by many transport companies. At the same time, the groups insist that these changes will only exacerbate fatigue among commercial vehicle drivers due to the weakening of the current HOS regulations.

The applicants also claim that the FMCSA contradicted its previous findings on the same issues and did not correctly analyze how this rule might affect truckers and motorists. In turn, the acting FMCSA administrator Jim Mullen, who later announced his resignation for the end of August, explained that the new rules were based on feedback, expressed in over 8,000 public comments, and introduced to add flexibility to American truckers' lives.

Under the new rules the driving time would not increase – Jim Mullen said, and, as before, will continue to prevent driving for more than eight hours in a row without a 30-minute change of duty status.

But despite all, the groups continue to urge courts to stop the FMCSA proposal, they remain convince that the new rule could cause enormous damage to the drivers' health and safety in general.

By Denis Kirston
22 / 09 / 2020
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