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Public Citizen v. FMCSA (III)

Topic(s): Auto and Truck Safety and Related Issues
Date Of Involvement: 08/27/2009

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Description:

In a petition filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Public Citizen, along with Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Truck Safety Coalition, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, asked the court to review the final hours-of-service rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2008. Like two previous rules issued by FMCSA in 2005 and 2003, the 2008 rule significantly increased the permissible number of hours that drivers may drive, both per shift and on a weekly basis. Under the 2008 rule, truck drivers could drive 11 consecutive hours before taking a break -- one hour more than permitted before the 2003 rule went into effect. In addition, under the 2008 rule, drivers were permitted to drive 77 hours in seven days or 88 hours in eight days -- a more than 25 percent increase over the pre-2003 limits. The permissible number of on-duty hours during which truckers may drive was also increased: a driver working 14-hour shifts could work as many as 84 hours in seven days or 98 hours in eight days -- a 40 percent increase over the pre-2003 limits.

In a settlement agreement, FMCSA agreed to reopen rulemaking to reconsider the rule. The case was held in abeyance while the agency conducted rulemaking. In December 2011, the agency issued a revised rule, and the parties jointly moved to dismiss the petition.