Safety Groups File Lawsuit Over Hours-of-Service Rule Change
Coming right on the heels of the American Trucking Association (ATA) announcing that they were challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) hours-of-service (HoS) rule changes, highway safety groups have filed their own lawsuit challenging the new rule.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Public Citizen, the Truck Safety Coalition and two truck drivers filed the lawsuit with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the groups announced today.
"Given the FMCSA's mission to prevent truck-related deaths and injuries, it is appalling that the agency issued yet another rule that fails to adequately address truck driver fatigue and puts the public's safety at risk," said Henry Jasny, vice president and general counsel, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
The safety groups are taking issue with the FMCSA's failure to reduce the 11-hour limit of consecutive driving hours to 10 hours, as well as the decision to not eliminate the 34-hour restart provision.
The daily 11-hour driving limit, says the group, is the main contributor to driver fatigue and that it comes at the cost of "numerous additional fatigue-related crashes." The FMCSA had no data to support adopting the 11-hour limit in 2004, they said in a press release.
For their part, the ATA said that speeding causes more truck-related crashes than fatigue, and that under the proposed rule, more drivers would be forced to drive during rush hour, increasing the likelihood of crashes.
FMCSA data released late last year shows that 2009 saw the lowest truck-related crash rates ever recorded, and that speed was the main culprit of crashes, followed by "failure to keep in lane."