December 13, 2007

U.S. federal agency says it will stick to truck driver rules despite court ruling

Arlington, Virginia – A report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced it will stick to rules governing truckers’ driving hours, even though the rules were struck down by a U.S. Court of Appeals.

The agency will continue to allow truck drivers to drive 11 hours at a stretch and up to 88 hours in an eight-day period.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down the work rules in 2004, calling them “arbitrary and capricious”, and chastising the agency for “questionable rationality.” In 2007, the court again rebuked the FMCSA, saying it had “failed to provide an explanation for critical elements” of its rule.

IIHS president Adrian Lund said that the FMCSA “still believes the way to address the problem of fatigued drivers behind the wheels of big truck rigs is to allow them to drive even more hours than past rules allowed. This is contrary to what the appeals court told the agency, not once but twice, and it’s contrary to what’s rational.”

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