The safety benefits of proposed changes to truck driver hours of service rules have been "wildly overstated," the American Trucking Associations claims.
The ATA said an independent review by Edgeworth Economics found the changes would entail net costs of $320 million a year, not $380 million in annual benefits.
According to ATA, Edgeworth found the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used "questionable logic, inadequate data and sloppy math" to justify shortening the hours truck drivers can work per day and per week.
"We find that FMCSA has overstated the net benefits of the proposed rule by about $700 million annually," the consulting firm said in its report, blaming changes in the methodologies used by the agency in its rulemaking for the overestimate.
"We find that, in every instance, FMCSA's new methodologies and assumptions increase the apparent net benefits of the proposed rule," the firm said.
"However, many of FMCSA's new approaches rely on misapplication of available data, use outdated information, or lack empirical support entirely."
"As proposed, the new hours-of-service rules would impose significant costs on the trucking industry without improving safety," said Bill Graves, ATA President and CEO. "These rules are a cure for a disease that we don't have."
The FMCSA is holding an all-day listening session on the hours of service rules today in Arlington, Va.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.