OOIDA to fight U.S. HoS in court

by Canadian Shipper

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) is continuing its battle against the new U.S. Hours-of-Service regulations for trucking.

The owner/operator group says it has petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to review the regulations. This comes on the heels of a similar petition filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA rejected the petition, prompting OOIDA to take the matter to the courts.

OOIDA’s main complaint about the regs is that they are set up in a way that if a trucker chooses to split up the required 10 hours of off-duty time, one of the two periods must be at least eight hours. That eight hour rest period stops the 14-hour maximum on-duty clock. The other two off-duty hours can be taken at another time – either in the sleeper or out – to fulfill the 10-hour off-duty requirement, but they do not stop the 14-hour clock.

“We were simply asking that those two hours would also stop the clock, that the driver could take those off-duty and not count against his working time,” OOIDA president and CEO Jim Johnston said. “We think it’s common sense because it’s consistent with the 10-hour off-duty requirement.”

OOIDA is also challenging the split sleeper berth provision for team drivers. The current HoS regs imprison one driver in the sleeper berth while pressuring the other driver to pilot the vehicle for at least eight hours in one stretch while the other is off-duty, OOIDA says.

“That’s impractical for most team operations,” Johnston said. “We initially petitioned the DOT to retain what was then the current sleeper-berth exemption, which allowed the drivers to take sleeper-berth time in whatever increments they wanted, as long as no period was less than two hours.”

OOIDA is hoping to gain some support for its case.

“We’re also looking forward to other industry interests joining with us in this case,” Johnston said. “The California Trucking Association has already indicated that they would like to piggyback on our suit since procedurally they were not allowed to file a suit on their own.”

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