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Court of Appeals using ‘11th hour’ before rendering opinion on HOS

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro has denied all requests to delay implementation, adding that she believes the new rule will be upheld.

By LYNDON FINNEY
The Trucker Staff

6/21/2013

WASHINGTON — The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is — in trucking terms — using the 11th hour of allowable opinion time to tell the commercial vehicle industry whether or not it will be able to operate under the Hours of Service rules that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will begin enforcing July 1.

The court Friday once again did not issue its long-awaited opinion on the petition for review of the new rule brought against the FMCSA by both the trucking industry and safety advocates.

Since the court only issues opinions on Tuesdays and Fridays, that obviously means there are two more opportunities for the court to say whether the rule can stay or whether a portion or all of it needs to be rewritten.

Fearing what might happen if the court overturns the rule after the effective date, trucking stakeholders and some lawmakers HAVE urged the FMCSA to delay implementation until after a ruling.

Those same groups also urged a delay until completion of a field study on the 34-hour restart provision is completed later this year.

The FMCSA placed new, and what turned out to be, controversial restrictions on the 34-hour restart in the new rule based on primarily laboratory studies.

Congress mandated the field study in MAP-21, the surface transportation bill passed last year.

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro has denied all requests to delay implementation, adding that she believes the new rule will be upheld.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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