After the FMCSA asked a federal court for an extra six months to correct the concerns of the court, Public Citizen and other activists asked the same court put old HOS rules into effect while the agency considers health-related issues, claiming the FMCSA really wants an “indefinite” extension with the new rules remaining in effect.
In July 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit vacated the new
hours-of-service rules at Public Citizen’s request because the FMCSA did not
consider driver health issues or EOBR use. The new rules had been in effect
since January this year.
However, Public Citizen, Parents Against Tired Truckers and
Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways contend the FMCSA really seeks to
satisfy the court’s decision by requesting “an indefinite interim measure”
allowing the agency to include health issues in the new rules – while also
keeping the new rules effective.
“Public Citizen, PATT and CRASH call on the court and
Congress to refuse to grant the government’s indefinite motion to stay the
court decision,” the groups said in their Sept. 13 request.
“The failure of FMCSA to draft a legally sufficient,
scientifically sound and safe set of HOS rules is undoubted. Congress should
not intervene where the judicial branch has done its job properly and rendered
a fair and reasonable decision,” the letter said.
However, sources close to the issue say it’s unclear whether
the court will keep the old or new rules effective while FMCSA seeks to comply
with its order. The court must consider balancing what it determines is in the
best public interest and it might say keeping the new rules in effect would
achieve that result.