Resolution Opposing the U.S. Department of Transportation's Proposal on Truck Driver Hours of Service Exposed

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The Resolution Opposing the U.S. Department of Transportation's Proposal on Truck Driver Hours of Service was adopted by ALEC's Trade and Transportation Task Force on August 3, 2001, approved by the full ALEC Board of Directors in September, 2001. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Resolution Text

WHEREAS, the trucking industry employs more than nine million people, delivers 87 percent of the nation's freight measured by value and is the exclusive provider of freight services to 75 percent of U.S. communities;

WHEREAS, the trucking industry is a critical component of the United States' economy;

WHEREAS, truck safety is an important public policy concern;

WHEREAS, the current Federal regulations that are meant to reduce truck driver fatigue are in need of revision;

WHEREAS, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on revisions to the Federal Hours of Service rules for commercial drivers;

WHEREAS, the FMCSA's proposal would decrease the overall number of hours a truck driver could work, requiring the addition of more trucks and drivers to deliver the nation's freight;

WHEREAS, this impact would likely compromise safety by generating more exposure to crashes, putting thousands of inexperienced drivers on the road, exacerbating the shortage of rest area parking spaces and creating long periods of idle time for truck drivers;

WHEREAS, the increased costs generated by the need for additional trucks and drivers, as well as operational changes, under the proposal, would inflate delivery expenses and raise business and consumer costs;

WHEREAS, the proposal requires some trucks to carry on-board recorders for enforcing the hours of service regulations;

WHEREAS, this recorder requirement is unlikely to impact safety and raises serious, legitimate concerns regarding the privacy of the information and potential for abuse of the information, and would place additional financial burdens on the trucking industry, with small business being the most severely and disproportionately affected;

WHEREAS, the proposal rescinds current provisions that give states the flexibility to address certain unique requirements that cannot be met under the limitations of a general hours of service regulation, such as the ability to effectively respond to emergencies and to meet seasonal agricultural needs;

WHEREAS, the proposal unjustifiably removes an exemption for agricultural transporters that is critical to farmers during harvest season and will severely disrupt the carefully orchestrated system of transporting fresh food from farm to market;

WHEREAS, the proposal unjustifiably removes exemptions for intrastate operations that currently give states a measure of flexibility to address special circumstances within their own borders;

WHEREAS, FMCSA inexplicably removes exemptions for drivers engaged in emergency operations, including exemptions for drivers of utility service vehicles, and for snow and ice removal drivers, and that the loss of these exemptions will prevent workers engaged in emergency operations from properly carrying out their duties, possibly putting public safety at risk;

WHEREAS, the law enforcement community has raised concerns about the ability of commercial vehicle safety inspectors to effectively enforce the proposed regulations;

WHEREAS, the FMCSA's cost-benefit analysis of the proposal is incomplete and fails to completely account for all trucking industry and economy-wide costs, and inflates the safety benefits of the proposal.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that ____________ opposes the proposed hours of service rule and urges the FMCSA to issue a new proposal that is not similar in substance to its previous proposal, and that is based on sound science, enhances public safety, and strengthens the ability of the trucking industry to meet the needs of the American economy,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the United States Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the chairmen and ranking members of relevant committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

Adopted by ALEC's Trade & Transportation Task Force at the Annual Meeting August 3, 2001. Approved by full ALEC Board of Directors September, 2001.