Truckload Carriers Association joins HOS lawsuit
Sep 1, 2006 12:00 PM
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has joined the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) court action as an intervenor against the current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, challenging the way they were adopted.
The intervenors argued in their July 18 court presentation about the way in which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) officials arrived at the regulations. In the “notice of proposed rulemaking leading up to the current regulations, FMCSA officials merely proposed the 2003 version of the regulations,” TCA said. In addition to proposing the 2003 regulations, FMCSA officials broke down the notice into 29 areas of inquiry, each of which contained multiple questions about the 2003 rule and possible changes to the regulations.
Other associations that have entered the court battle include International Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFL-CIO, California Trucking Association, and Ohio Trucking Association (OTA).
OOIDA petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after petitioning FMCSA for two changes to the current HOS regulations. The current regulations are set up in a way that if a trucker chooses to split up the required 10 hours of off-duty time, one of the two periods must be at least eight hours. That eight-hour rest period stops the 14-hour maximum on-duty clock. The other two off-duty hours can be taken at another time, either in the sleeper or out, to fulfill the 10-hour off-duty requirement, but they do not stop the 14-hour clock, OOIDA contends.
The other change OOIDA petitioned for involved split sleeper-berth provision for team drivers. Under the current HOS regulations, team drivers have to take a minimum of eight consecutive hours off in the sleeper berth. So one driver is virtually imprisoned in the sleeper berth, and the other driver is pressured to drive at least eight hours in one stretch while the other driver is off duty, OOIDA said.
FMCSA denied OOIDA's petition for reconsideration, forcing the association to take the matter to court, OOIDA said.
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