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Legislators Push FMCSA to Reconsider Hours Deadline Decision

March 21, 2013

By Oliver Patton

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Transportation legislators in the Senate and House are pressing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chief Anne Ferro to reconsider her decision not to postpone the effective date of the hours of service rule. 

“We are aware that the trucking industry, the manufacturing and freight shipping industries, and the truck safety enforcement community each requested a similar postponement of the effective date,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, ranking member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, in a March 20 letter to Ferro.

Joining Collins were Reps. Thomas Latham, R-Iowa, and Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., chairman and ranking members of the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, respectively.

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They echo the comments made by American Trucking Associations and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in their bid for a three-month extension of the July 1 effective date of the hours rule. The agency rejected that request on grounds that it would postpone a safety improvement.

“By FMCSA’s own estimate, the trucking industry will spend more than $300 million between now and July 1 to train drivers, make software changes and implement other modifications to prepare for the new rule,” they wrote.

But the rule could be changed or vacated by a U.S. appeals court, where ATA and other groups are challenging it.

The agency’s most responsible course is to delay the rule, given uncertainty about what the court will do, the legislators wrote. They asked Ferro to provide estimates of how much the agency and trucking industry will spend to prepare for the rule.

This letter follows closely on the heels of a letter from House transportation legislators asking Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to delay the rule for three months. 

Comments

  1. 1. Ed Wayne [ March 22, 2013 @ 05:03AM ]

    This will be interesting. Will the FMCSA be arrogant enough to give the same excuse to the people who hold their purse strings as they did to the people who fill those purses.

  2. 2. Tammy [ March 22, 2013 @ 05:55AM ]

    It really is a no brainer when BOTH sides are asking for a delay. Surley this is not just a power play on Ferro's part? Play fair, the people have had enough set backs.

  3. 3. Larry [ March 22, 2013 @ 07:56AM ]

    Isn't it amazing, we live in a country where non-elected bureaucats make the rules entire industries must abide by. Where's the freedom in that? We must have rules and safety, but it has gone too far. I'm beginning to think maybe European business have more freedoms to succeed than we in America.

  4. 4. Larry [ March 22, 2013 @ 08:01AM ]

    When did it become a decision that one person can make? Who runs the country the people though elected officials or the single non-elected bureaucrat?

  5. 5. gary_bary [ March 22, 2013 @ 09:14AM ]

    Congress, reduced to BEGGING the people they hired to actually be reasonable and competent in their exercise of power. I've been saying it on Twitter and on various forums on the internet, the FMCSA is utterly run amok. Congress needs to rein in this agency.

  6. 6. Trucker-Wife [ March 26, 2013 @ 01:04PM ]

    Best law ever. Sorry folks, but I have seen enough of my husband getting in at noon, then leaving the next night at midnight...exhausted. Safe? Not at all... It's time to start lining these companies out and quit risking the health of the drivers and the public.

  7. 7. Leo [ March 28, 2013 @ 06:34PM ]

    Joe Clapp came up with the best hours of service system ever when he wrote the current system. Safety records well reflect that. But "if it works", change it! If a few in unionized operations want this, negotiate with their employers...The FMCSA should not legislate for a small group and be allowed to force on entire nation! There is not enough truck parking now with all the Rest Areas closed by the states and more and more states are restricting roadside parking....what are we supposed to do? Stop for that 30 minutes in the road?

  8. 8. Leo [ March 28, 2013 @ 06:34PM ]

    Joe Clapp came up with the best hours of service system ever when he wrote the current system. Safety records well reflect that. But "if it works", change it! If a few in unionized operations want this, negotiate with their employers...The FMCSA should not legislate for a small group and be allowed to force on entire nation! There is not enough truck parking now with all the Rest Areas closed by the states and more and more states are restricting roadside parking....what are we supposed to do? Stop for that 30 minutes in the road?

  9. 9. Leo [ March 28, 2013 @ 06:35PM ]

    Joe Clapp came up with the best hours of service system ever when he wrote the current system. Safety records well reflect that. But "if it works", change it! If a few in unionized operations want this, negotiate with their employers...The FMCSA should not legislate for a small group and be allowed to force on entire nation! There is not enough truck parking now with all the Rest Areas closed by the states and more and more states are restricting roadside parking....what are we supposed to do? Stop for that 30 minutes in the road?

 

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