ARLINGTON, Va. (May 22, 2015) — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has asked members of the House Appropriations Committee to support a stronger version of the bipartisan hours-of-service restart study requirement Congress approved last December.
The May 12 letter, signed by more than 120 other interested organizations, highlights the need for Congress to prevent the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from “skewing results of its study to fit its own conclusions — conclusions that run counter to the industry's experience under the agency's onerous restart restrictions, the ATA said.
“It would ensure that FMCSA's study is representative of all drivers who use the restart provision and that it considers the full impact of putting more trucks onto the road during daytime traffic,” the groups' letter said. “Moreover, the provision would prevent insignificant results from being used to justify wide-reaching regulations.”
The letter cited recent findings by the American Transportation Research Institute indicating an increase in not only daytime driving by large trucks after the restart restrictions were imposed, but a statistically significant increase in property damage and injury crashes as a result, according to the ATA.
Without the stronger language, ATA argued that FMCSA could be allowed to “reimpose the restrictions once its current study is completed — even if that study shows the restart restrictions were overly constricting and harmful to public safety.”
ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said “we have said since Day One that FMCSA failed to do even the most cursory investigation of what these restrictions would mean for highway safety in the real world.
“The American public deserves to have these rules, which studies have shown raise crash risk on our highways, thoroughly and fairly examined.
“We urge the House Appropriations Committee to hold FMCSA's feet to the fire until we get a full and fair analysis of the impacts of these restrictions.”
To read ATA's letter, click here.
The ATA is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry, encompassing a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils.