First Reaction to HOS Rule Is Largely Negative from Trucking, Shippers


 UPDATED:
12/22/2011 5:15:00 PM
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Groups Say Changes Will Cause Congestion, Won’t Improve Safety



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Trucking and shippers groups reacted swiftly and negatively to the Department of Transportation’s final hours-of-service rule, citing the potential for more congestion and saying it will not improve highway safety.

On the other side of the issue, a citizens’ safety group also said the rule was flawed, though for different reasons.

 

Click here for TT’s Special Report on the HOS rule. (TT subscription or 14-day pass required.)

The final rule “puts safety in the back seat,� American Trucking Associations said in a statement following the rule’s release Thursday.

“Even with an uptick in truck-involved fatalities in 2010, since the current rules went into effect in 2004, fatalities have fallen 29.9%, even as overall miles traveled for trucks has risen by tens of billions of miles,� said ATA Chairman Dan England, chairman of truckload carrier C.R. England.

DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “set itself on a course to fix a rule that’s not only not broken, but by all objective accounts is working to improve highway safety,� added ATA President Bill Graves.

“Unfortunately, along the way, FMCSA twisted data and, as part of this final rule, is using unjustified causal estimates to justify unnecessary changes,� Graves said in a statement.

Kelly Kolb, vice president of the a shippers’ group Retail Industry Leaders Association, said that “rather than encouraging greater efficiency, the [HOS rule] increase transportation costs, congestion and pollution by funneling more trucks onto the roads at peak times.�

DOT’s own studies show that traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $87.2 billion per year, with 4.2 billion hours and 2.8 billion gallons of fuel spent sitting in traffic, RILA said.

The National Retail Federation, which also represents shippers, said it “welcomed� continuation of the 11-hours per day limit but but expressed concern over a new requirement for longer weekly breaks.

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