With one exception, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia upheld the new Hours of Service rules that had been challenged by the American Trucking Association.
The one change ordered by the Court was that the mandatory 30 minute off duty break before the 8th hour of driving will no longer apply to short haul drivers, those who operate withing a 150 air mile radius of their terminals.
The Court stated in it’s conclusion;
It is often said the third time’s a charm. That may well be true in this case, the third of its kind to be considered by the
Circuit. With one small exception, our decision today brings to an end much of the permanent warfare surrounding the
HOS rules. Though FMCSA won the day not on the strengths of its rulemaking prowess, but through an artless war of
attrition, the controversies of this round are ended.
For the foregoing reasons, we grant ATA’s petition in part and vacate the rule insofar as it subjects short-haul drivers to the 30-minute off-duty break requirement. In all other respects, the petitions of both ATA and Public Citizen are Denied.
What I found particularly interesting in the ruling, which you can read and download from this link, it the Court found that the bogus safety group Public Citizen, had no standing to challenge the 34 hour restart, which they wanted abolished in it’s entirety. The reasoning behind this was that Public Citizen, using comments submitted to the FMCSA during the comment period for the new HOS rules, from a trucker by the name of Dana Logan, was in effect, “riding the coattails” of Logan to object to the restart provisions.
So far now folks, the debate about Hours of Service has ended, as the Court indicated. The only possibility of change would be for Congress to take up the issue and codify the HOS into law. Personally, I not so sure that would be a good idea.