gavel outside court

Appeals court denies review of HOS shorthaul, driver break requirements

From Transport Topics.

A challenge to certain federal hours-of-service regulations filed by the Teamsters Union and three nonprofits will not be reviewed by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In their legal challenge, the groups argued that the May 2020 final hours-of-service rule was “arbitrary and capricious” because it failed to address the safety and driver health consequences of changes to record-keeping rules for shorthaul commercial vehicle drivers, and rest break requirements for longhaul drivers.

The appellate panel denied the petition for review on the grounds that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration HOS rules were sufficiently “explained and grounded in the administrative record.”

In its decision, the appellate court wrote, “The administration continues to rely on hours-of-service limitations as a linchpin regulatory measure to ensure the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles. Two of those regulations are at issue here: a special record-keeping exemption for shorthaul drivers, and the requirement that longhaul drivers take a 30-minute break at set intervals.”

FMCSA said the final HOS rule allows more flexibility for the 30-minute rest break rule by requiring a break after eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using “on-duty, not driving” status, rather than “off-duty” status.

The final revision to the prior HOS rule also involved changing the shorthaul exception available to certain drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air-miles to 150 air-miles.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.