March 14, 2013
Public Citizen to Argue Importance of Work Hour Limits for Truckers
Latest DOT Rule Puts More Tired Truckers on The Road, Defies Congressional Mandate
WHAT: Public Citizen will argue Friday before a federal appellate court, continuing a long legal battle to force the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to require meaningful limits on the hours truckers may drive. Many truckers routinely put in double the hours of other workers in a job where fatigue jeopardizes their lives and the safety of other drivers.
Nearly 20 years ago, Congress required the DOT to revise limits on truckers’ hours to improve safety. After lengthy delay, the DOT did the opposite: It increased driving hours even though there is no safety benefit to allowing more tired truckers on the roads. Twice before, the courts agreed with Public Citizen that the DOT’s rules did not comply with Congress’ safety mandate and struck down the rule.
Nonetheless, in December 2011, the DOT again issued a rule that increases driving hours. Public Citizen again challenged it in court.
The case is being argued this week before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by Public Citizen attorney Scott Nelson. Arguing the other side will be the DOT and the trucking industry, neither of which accepts the commonsense notion that Congress ordered the agency to issue a rule to improve safety, not to make it worse.
Read Public Citizen’s briefs in the case.
WHEN: 9:30 a.m. EDT, Friday, March 15
WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals, 333 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC
WHO: Scott Nelson, attorney, Public Citizen