The U.S. Congress Sept. 30 voted to extend the highway bill
and President Bush signed the measure, thereby guaranteeing that new HOS
regulations would rule the road for a year while the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration satisfies objections to them.
Specifically, the new HOS rules will remain in effect for
drivers and state enforcement personnel until the FMCSA amends them to consider
driver health issues, or until Sept. 30, 2005, whichever comes first.
Moreover, President Bush’s signature makes moot any subsequent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals in
Washington, DC, to grant a Sept. 13 request by Public Citizen, Parents Against
Tired Truckers and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways.
The groups said 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. “(We) call on the court and Congress to refuse to grant the
government’s indefinite motion to stay the court decision,” the groups said.
Despite the request, the president’s signature is now the
law of the land and the new rules will remain in effect for at least one year