The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has stayed until the end of the year enforcement of its July order striking down the current FMCSR hours of service rule. This has been a point of controversy for years.
In 2003, the FMSCA first released a set of rules that would allow truck drivers to work 11 hours during a single shift and then rest for 10 hours. The previous rules set work shifts for truck drivers at 10 hours with eight-hour rest breaks. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the 2003 regulations, and the FMCSA responded by reissuing a similar set of rules in 2005. A coalition of safety and truck driver organizations sued to challenge the new rules, asserting that they jeopardized the health and safety of truck drivers.Even though the newer rules required longer rest breaks of 10 hours, the regulations did allow truckers to work more hours during the week. According to the original set of rules, truck drivers could only work 70 hours over an eight-day period.The newer rules issued in 2005 allowed drivers to work 70 hours during a week and to restart their workweek after resting for 34 hours straight. The Truck Safety Coalition claimed that the 34-hour restart rule meant that truckers were required to work more hours every week and therefore would be much more susceptible to fatigue.
My bet is that the FMCSA will get with the American Trucking Association and reissue virtually the same rules with a doctored-up administrative record, the Truck Safety Coalition will file suit again for round 3 or whatever it is.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" inGeorgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks.