The American Trucking Associations will file a petition challenging new final truck driver work rules in federal court, the trucking group said Tuesday.
The ATA aims to overturn a provision in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new hours of service rules that would keep some drivers home longer between work weeks, cutting into the amount of time they can drive.
“We cannot allow this rulemaking, which was fueled by changed assumptions and analyses that do not meet the required legal standards, to remain unchallenged,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said in a statement.
The ATA will file a petition Tuesday asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to review and set aside the rules as being “arbitrary and capricious.”
ATA points to the reduction in truck-related fatalities since the previous rule took effect in 2004 and challenges the safety claims of the new rule. “FMCSA’s own analyses show that even when they overstate the safety benefits of these changes, the costs created by their rule still outweigh those benefits,” Graves said.
At the heart of the ATA’s challenge to the new rules — scheduled to take effect in July 2013 — are changes to the 34-hour weekly restart provision. The new rules require drivers to spend two consecutive 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods off-duty before starting a new work week. The old rule had no such requirement.
Depending on when a driver goes off duty, the new rule could significantly lengthen the time a driver must wait before restarting his or her weekly clock. ATA said it would work with the FMCSA on other initiatives that it claims would have a greater effect on highway safety, such as limiting truck speeds.
The association will file its legal challenge in federal appeals court in Washington Tuesday.