Trucks Can Drive Eleven Hours a Day Based on Stay of Court of Appeals Decision Voiding the FMSCA Hours of Service Regulations

By October 9, 2007Trucking Regulations

Trucker fatigue is a common cause of truck accidents. Drivers of tractor trailers are regulated on the number of hours they can drive by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In the long battle between the FMCSA and the courts over the FMSCA’s attempts to allow truckers to drive longer with and rest less, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on July 24, 2007, voided the FMSCA’s new Hours of Service Regulations on procedural grounds.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) filed a motion with the court on Sept. 6, 2007, asking that the Court keep the current HOS provisions in place for an eight month period, allowing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) time to issue a new final rule.
On Sept. 21, 2007, FMCSA filed a memorandum with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to delay implementing the recent ruling on the HOS regulations governing commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers for 12 months. Under the court’s Rules, however, the stay only extends 90 days to Dec. 27, 2007.
Maybe the FMSCA will quit trying to allow truckers to drive longer and rest less; based on their past history, however that is doubtful. I know from reading the posts of many truckers, that they are in favor of the new regulations because allows them to work longer and if the are paid by the mile, make more money. I have seen truck drivers in favor of the new regulations make comparisons to nurses who work 12 hour shifts. Anyone who has taken a long car trip knows that it is not necessarily the long hours that can make driving dangerous, it is the monotony that can cause you to not pay attention like you should. I have heard it called highway hypnosis. Because of the tragic results that one tired trucker can cause, I am in favor of the old rules that only allow truckers to work 10 hour days.