OOIDA files HOS lawsuit
Jan 27, 2006 1:41 PM
The Owner-Operator Independent Driver's Association (OOIDA) has filed a court challenge requesting review of the new hours of service (HOS) regulations for truck drivers, according to association information.
OOIDA has petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for two changes to the current hours-of-service 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.
"We were simply asking that those two hours would also stop the clock, that the driver could take those off-duty and not count against his working time," OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston said. "We think it's commonsense because it's consistent with the 10-hour off-duty requirement."
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.
"That's impractical for most team operations," Johnston said. "We initially petitioned the DOT to retain what was then the current sleeper-berth exemption, which allowed the drivers to take sleeper-berth time in whatever increments they wanted, as long as no period was less than two hours."
FMCSA denied OOIDA's petition for reconsideration, forcing the association to take the matter to court, OOIDA said.
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