Changing Lanes

May 2013

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Capitol Hill Report U.S. Appeals Court Hears ATA Challenge to HOS Rules In mid-March, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments from American Trucking Associations regarding changes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made to the hours-ofservice rules in 2011. CHANGING LANES "The existing rules have a proven track record, and the agency's purported reasons for tinkering with them were baseless," said ATA General Counsel Prasad Sharma. "We're hopeful the judges will see through the agency's mere pleas for deference and after-the-fact explanations for a rule that was agenda-driven rather than evidence-based." FMCSA's 2011 changes would put onerous restrictions on drivers' ability to effectively manage their schedules by limiting the use of a restart period to once every seven days, as well as inflexibly mandating off-duty breaks during the workday. ATA contended that these changes were not supported by the data available and should be rejected. Separately, a coalition of outside advocacy groups challenged FMCSA's retention of the 11th hour of driving and the existence of the restart at all. "Public Citizen and its cohorts also 28 capitol hill report 0513 cl.indd 1 faced tough questions they didn't have good answers for," Sharma said. "Despite Public Citizen's arguments, neither the law nor the data support Public Citizen's contention that FMCSA was obliged to make the hours-of-service regulations more onerous than they are. Nothing they said today changed that." There's no deadline for when the court must rule, but ATA is hoping for a swift decision. When this issue of Changing Lanes magazine went into production, a decision has not been reached. Despite requests from ATA, CVSA, and other stakeholders asking FMCSA to delay implementation of the rules until three months after the court issues its decision – to save the industry and enforcement community the expense of preparing for a rule that might never go into effect – the agency has indicated it plans to begin enforcement as scheduled on July 1. AASHTO Praises Senate's Proposed Transportation Funding Levels in CR The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials today expressed support for proposed transportation funding levels in the Senate's version of a continuing resolution that would fund government operations through September 2013.  "We strongly support the may 2013 // WWW.CHANGINGLANESDIGITAL.COM 4/5/13 9:38 AM

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