FMCSA Denies ATA Request to Delay HOS Rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rejected a request from the American Trucking Associations to delay the start of the updated hours-of-service regulations by at least three months.

According to Transport Topics, FMCSA Chief Counsel T.F. Scott Darling denied a request to delay compliance with the new rules from the scheduled July 1 start date until three months after a federal court issues its decision on challenges to the rule ATA and other groups have filed.

“Basically, your request to delay the compliance date of the rule is really a request for a stay, pending a decision by the court, plus an additional three months of non-compliance.,” wrote Darling in a letter to ATA President Bill Graves. “The FMCSA has evaluated the issued raised in your letter and, for the reasons set forth in this response, has determined that staying the compliance date of the rule is not warranted.”

In Graves’ original letter to the agency, he said a delay “will avoid potentially duplicative and unnecessary training, prevent confusion if the court’s decision alters . . . the final rule, and, given the anticipated short length of the delay, will have no measureable impact on highway safety.”

However,  Darling stated ATA did not demonstrate enough of a good reason to delay compliance, and that uncertainty over the outcome of the court case does not mean trucking or the enforcement community will be harmed.

Oral arguments in the case are set for March 15.