Federal Appellate Court Upholds New Hours of Service Rules for Interstate Truckers

A slate of new hours of service regulations governing interstate truckers has been upheld. The regulations, promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, took effect on July 1, 2013, but were subject to a legal challenge by the American Trucking Association. On August 2, 2013, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld all the new rules but one – a 30-minute off-duty requirement for short-haul drivers.

The regulations in question include:

  • A prohibition against driving more than 8 hours without an off-duty break of at least 30 minutes;
  • Limiting use of the “34-hour restart” (which allows drivers to reset their weekly hour restriction by remaining off-duty for 34 consecutive hours) to once every 168 hours; and
  • A requirement that the “34-hour restart” period include two blocks of time from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

In addition to dismissing most of the American Trucking Association’s challenges, the appellate court also rejected arguments by interest groups seeking to make the requirements even more restrictive.

Please contact our experienced transportation team for more information about the new restrictions or any other regulatory compliance issues.

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