Federal Trucking Rules Effective October 1

The Bush Administration is pushing forward with new trucking rules, even though the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found a similar set of rules “arbitrary and capricious” and “a threat to driver’s health” just last year. The rules come into effect October 1, 2005.

Here is a summary of the “highlights” of the new rules, as prepared by Lawyers Weekly U.S.A. :

*Increase the limit for consecutive driving for long-haul truckers to 11 hours, up from the 10-hour limit that had been in effect until 2003. However, they also shorten the total workday (including non-driving time) to 14 hours, down from 15.

* Allow up to 60 hours of interstate driving over a seven-day period and 70 hours over an eight-day period. But the rules also allow a driver to restart a seven- or eight-day work week after 34 hours off-duty. That means that a driver could actually drive 77 hours in a seven-day period if he took 34 hours off before the close of the weekly limits, the D.C. Circuit noted in its decision.

* Eliminate a requirement that short-haul drivers log the number of hours a day that they work.

Public Citizen and several other groups had successfully challenged a prior substantially similar version of the rules but has not indicated whether it will challenge these.

Read the entire article here.