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ATA Critical of New Hours-of-Service During Congressional Hearing

June 18, 2013

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In testimony today before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s panel on highways and transit, Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA, said changes to federal hours-of-service rules, set to take effect July 1, are costly and unsupported by data or research.

“FMCSA’s motivation to change these rules was not based on evidence demonstrating a problem,” said Williams, a past chairman of ATA and the current chairman of the American Transportation Research Institute. “FMCSA’s three paragraph statement in the rulemaking called ‘The Purpose and Need for Regulatory Action’ did not cite any research or data analysis showing a problem. That speaks volumes.”

Williams cited an ATRI report that found “statistically significant” declines in the number of crashes under the basic framework of the current rules. Specifically he pointed to a 31% drop in preventable collisions between 2004-2009.

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“The industry will lose operating flexibility and productivity, and the rules will increase driver stress and frustration,” he said, noting an estimated 1.5% to 4% reduction in productivity will translate to “between $500 million and $1.4 billion in lost productivity.”

Williams also said that it is “difficult, bordering on impossible, to accept FMCSA’s suggestion that corresponding benefits will result from these changes and that they will somehow offset all the costs.”

Pointing to an ATRI study released yesterday, Williams said “FMCSA’s claim that 15% of drivers work more than 70 hours per week to be grossly overstated” and that after correcting that false assumption “the pending restart changes would have a net annual cost, not a benefit, to industry and society.”

Because of FMCSA’s flawed analysis and process, Williams called on Congress to postpone the July 1 effective date of these rules until the agency completes mandated research on the rule. He also asked Congress to request independent analysis of the regulation and to require FMCSA to report to Congress on any future changes to the hours-of-service rules.

To read Williams’ testimony click here

More details to come from today's hearing.

Comments

  1. 1. Edward J Primeau III [ June 19, 2013 @ 08:12AM ]

    The cart seems to always be in front of the horses with fmcsa. The greatest level of fatigue driving a truck comes from the unnecessary time spent loading and delivering. The customer's that buy and ship.products are not listening to our hours of service rules. They don't care and will tell you that! I would like a congressional study done on unnecessary waiting time at the docks. Then we would see productivity and safety improve. By the way alcohol related and distracted driving are the highest causes of highway accidents that lead to fatalities. Leave the working man alone and improve educating the public on the real issues.

  2. 2. Bruce Baler [ June 19, 2013 @ 09:38AM ]

    The new ruling is just another regulation that place more pressure and stress on the drivers. The loss of I productivity will reduce the income to driver. What ever happened to common responsibility. If your tired stop and rest. Oh that's right you can't because paperless logs and the 14 hour rule.

  3. 3. Bruce Baler [ June 19, 2013 @ 10:19AM ]

    My second comment regards to trucking company training and rewards programs. Most reward programs have gone away from let's say trimming the fat to stay afloat. Anyways. If companies would return money awards back to drivers who do the thing Oma consistent basics, drivers would stay around. Training drivers to do there job. Prey rips, post trips, spot check equipment during a trip. Communicating with staff and respect everyone in the road and in the company. Has any company have a 3 strikes your out policy? Lack of common sense has put us, the transportation industry this highly regulated business. Where have all the nice looking trucks and companies gone? Dust in the wind.

 

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