ATA: HOS keeps
trucks, motorists safe
Mar 11, 2009 2:42 PM
Trucks on the nationís highways are safer now, while operating under federal hours of service (HOS) regulations that debuted in 2004, than they have ever been, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
ATA bases its findings on a review of myths and facts the association has posted on its Web site at truckline.com.
ATA responded to a lawsuit filed March 9 by The Teamsters, Public Citizen, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the Truck Safety Coalition challenging the HOS rule and asking the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia to review the HOS regulation. It is the third court petition by the group in the HOS challenge.
ATA points out on its Web site that the rates of truck-involved fatal crashes and injuries have declined every year since the current HOS regulations went into effect.
The rules reduced the maximum length of the truck driverís work day by at least one hour and increased the daily required number of hours of rest by two hours, ATA said.
The work day was shortened from a previous maximum of 15 hours (which could be extended by breaks) to no more than 14 consecutive hours. Drivers are required to rest at least 10 hours between shifts, with at least 8 of those hours in the sleeper berth if it is used while on the road. Within the shorter work day, the rules allow 11 hours of driving instead of the previous 10.
The group challenging the rule argue that longer driving and working hours are a result of the rule and that they are unsafe and promote driver fatigue. They also have written a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking him to immediately begin a new HOS rulemaking process.
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