Arkansas representative to challenge HOS rules

| 9/12/2003

U.S. Rep. John Boozman, R-AR, will hold a series of information-gathering meetings aimed at changing the FMCSA’s HOS rules, which become effective in January next year.

Boozman says the HOS rules are unfair to short-haul truckers, of which there are many in his northwest Arkansas district.

On April 28, the FMCSA announced the pending new rule, aimed at reducing fatigue-related highway accidents. The rule limits truckers, including short-haul delivery drivers, to 14 consecutive on-duty hours.

Boozman sought "a correction" in the federal regulation, which he said would disadvantage short-haul truckers, including some to be found at a McKee Foods plant in Gentry and elsewhere in Northwest Arkansas. Since many short-haul truckers break up their driving by stocking shelves and performing other duties, they don’t need the proposed regulation as other truckers do, Boozman contended.

The FMCSA recently announced it wouldn’t modify the regulation, and since then the congressman has been setting up a series of information-gathering meetings, Patrick Creamer, Boozman’s communications director, told the Benton County Daily Record

Boozman plans to meet with lobbyists from affected industries — representatives of bakers, the snack food industry and others — and other members of Congress to determine how best to proceed, Creamer said.

"He’s (Boozman) trying to figure out where we go from here — if there’s a way to get exemptions for people or a need for a congressional hearing on the rule, or if there is, perhaps, a legislative remedy for it."