ATA Challenges HOS Proposal
The ATA (American Trucking Associations) is working to stop proposed changes to HOS (Hours of Service) rules that are currently proposed on the federal level.
There are multiple items the ATA is seeking in order to stop the further progression of changes to the current HOS rules. These items include: a request for a hearing on the proposal, and a request for information to back up the proposed rule changes.
Request for Hearing
The ATA is leading a group of prominent trucking companies in a request for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to schedule a hearing on the proposal.
"A hearing before the (committee) would help bring attention to the real impact of FMCSA's proposed regulations and give members of the committee the opportunity to question both the agency and the business community about the hours of service," the coalition stated in a Jan. 19 letter.
The coalition of companies is seeking this hearing on or before February 28th, 2011.
Criticism of the Proposal
The ATA also has multiple criticisms of the HOS rule change proposal.
The first criticism is that the changes are for political, rather that safety reasons. They argue the rules are meant to stop lawsuits, led by Public Citizen, against the Department of Transportation. The group has agreed to stop its lawsuits if HOS rules were modified.
The ATA also feels there is a lack of scientific data to support the claim the rules changes will improve driver health and reduce the number of crashes.
Finally, the ATA feels the overwhelming economic impact from HOS changes will have a negative impact on the economy. Capacity will shrink, competition will be reduced, and expenses will rise.
Potential Future Lawsuit
The ATA has indicated that if the rule goes through the way it is proposed, it is likely that ATA members will decide to file suit. This may include the ATA and a coalition of trucking companies around the nation.
The rulemaking process still has a long way to go. The docket is still in the comment stage, and is attracting more and more attention to the changes.