Trucking industry's 'Hours-of-Service' rule overturned

September 1, 2004
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In July, a U.S. federal appeals court overturned new rules governing how many hours truckers can spend behind the wheel before resting. The rules went into effect in early January, and were the first substantial overhaul of industry regulations since 1939. Under the new rules, drivers were required to rest 10 hours in each 24-hour period instead of eight. In addition, time spent waiting at a customer's loading dock was also counted as work hours.

According to the court, the Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration failed to address the effect of the new rules on drivers' health. It was also critical of the agency's continued reliance on written logs, which critics say are often unreliable, if not dishonest.

The agency was given 45 days to review the court decision and decide how to respond.

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