The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has thrown out the Washington, D.C.-based Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) hours-of-service rules increasing the number of hours that an interstate trucker can drive without a rest from 10 to 11. The rules took effect in January. FMCSA has 45 days from the mid-July issuance of the opinion to decide whether to appeal the ruling. The vacated rules will remain in effect while FMCSA considers its legal options.
In its opinion, the court stated that the “rule is arbitrary and capricious because [the FMCSA] failed to consider the impact of the rules on the health of the drivers, a factor the agency must consider under its organic statute.” Three citizen organizations — Public Citizen, Parents Against Tired Truckers and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, all based in Washington, D.C. — filed the lawsuit.