Truck Tonnage Up Slightly For February 2013

Today, the American Trucking Association called on the FMCSA and Congress to “swiftly address the mounting problems caused by changes to the hours-of-service rules.”

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves called on Congress to support the TRUE Safety Act.

The bill, H.R. 3413, entitled the “True Understanding of the Economy” and Safety Act or the “True Safety Act,” was written by New York Representative Richard Hanna, South Carolina Representative Tom Rice and Maine Representative Mike Michaud, would reverse the 34-hour restart provision.

The authors of the bill say they would like to see the 34-hour restart provision overturned until an independent study could be done on the provision’s necessity. The representatives say that the new rule has created a hardship for drivers. They noted that trucking is “the lifeblood of the American economy.”

The bill states that drivers should be allowed to operate under the 34-hour restart rule that was in place before the July 1, change and that the Government Accountability Office should conduct an independent assessment of the FMCSA’s methodology that was used to come up with the 34-hour restart rule.

In addition, the bill would prohibit the FMCSA from applying a new restart rule if the independent study results are in contradiction to the FMCSA’s findings.

“The TRUE Safety Act will put the brakes on these rules until they can be thoroughly vetted,” Graves said. “We’re confident that once they are independently and objectively reviewed, FMCSA will have no choice but to undo what it has done.”

“From the outset, ATA was confident the hours-of-service rule changes were based on politics, not data,” said Graves. “Well now we’re seeing mounting evidence that rather than solving anything, these rules are creating many problems for drivers and fleets alike.”

“I’ve seen the impact these rules have had on my fleet, and clearly I’m not alone,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express. “We’ve seen the Wall Street Journal document the impacts twice in less than a week, the American Transportation Research Institute publish evidence of the costs and additional challenges caused by these rules and tomorrow Congress is going to put these regulations under the microscope.

“By now it should be clear that these rules were a mistake – everyone can see it,” Byrd said. “FMCSA should listen to the facts and rollback this ill-advised rule.”

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Good stuff. Trucks Bring It!

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