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Top House transport committee members ask LaHood to delay implementation of new HOS

“The trucking industry and law enforcement community will invest substantial resources to train personnel and adjust safety management systems to comply with rulemaking,” the letter to LaHood (above)said. “Most of the training will occur three months before the rule’s compliance date (July 1).

The Trucker News Services

3/20/2013

WASHINGTON — The chairman and top member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the chairman and ranking member of the committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit have asked Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to consider staying the implementation of the new Hours of Service rule until three months after resolution of the petitions for review of the rule currently under consideration in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

“A stay on the HOS rule would avoid costly and unnecessary training of enforcement officials and alleviate any confusion regarding the impact the court’s decision could have on the HOS rule,” the four lawmakers wrote in a letter to LaHood Monday.

The congressmen include committee chairman Bill Shuster and ranking member Nick J. Rahall II, and subcommittee chairman Tom Petri and subcommittee ranking member Peter DeFazio.

“The trucking industry and law enforcement community will invest substantial resources to train personnel and adjust safety management systems to comply with rulemaking,” the letter said. “Most of the training will occur three months before the rule’s compliance date (July 1).

If LaHood grants the delay, he would reverse a decision made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration when the American Trucking Association’s made a similar request earlier this year.

The FMCAS said the ATA did not present sufficient evidence to grant the delay, using what amount to litigation rules to deny the request.

The ATA said the FMCSA “hid behind an irrelevant, legalistic analysis” in rejecting the federation’s request.

The court heard oral arguments on March 15 and likely will reach a decision in June, the lawmakers predicted.

“Therefore, moving forward under the current schedule would be an inefficient use of the industry, enforcement community and FMCSA resources if the HOS is altered by the court’s decision,” the letter said.