The American Trucking Associations wants the starting date for new federal hours of service rule for truck drivers delayed to give trucking companies more time to train drivers and adjust operations.
In a letter to Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro, ATA President and CEO Bill Graves asked for a three-month delay following a pending federal court decision on the regulation.
The delay “will avoid potentially duplicative and unnecessary training” and “prevent confusion” if the court decision “alters in any manner the final rule,” Graves said in his Jan. 25 letter to Ferro.
Motor carriers and law enforcement agencies “have yet to fully deploy their training resources,” Graves said, and will need more time to complete training of truck drivers, dispatchers and state police.
The U.S. Court Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments in a series of legal challenges to the hours of service rule March 15 and is expected to issue a decision between then and July 1.
The ATA, which opposes changes to the restart provision and other elements of the new rule, wants the court to strike the regulation and send it back to the truck safety agency.
Other groups, including Public Citizen and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, argue the rule doesn't go far enough and want to eliminate the restart provision and cut allowable driving time.
With no change, the most controversial sections of the final rule, including changes to the 34-hour restart provision drivers use to reset their weekly clocks and resume driving, take effect July 1.