US shippers join truckers in court battle over hours of work restrictions

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THE National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) has lined up with American Trucking Associations (ATA) in fighting against the court appeal brought by consumer lobby Public Citizen, which wants the daily driving limit reduced to 10 hours.

Public Citizen is challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration because the agency did not cut driving time in its new rules, which comes into effect in July 2013.

Founded by Ralph Nader, Public Citizen is an anti-corporate lobby based in Washington, says Wikipedia, which adds that its Public Citizen Litigation Group is a law firm that presses for strong government regulation to curb corporate power.

NASSTRAC says the reduction in working hours wouldn't reduce driver fatigue and that truck accident fatalities have declined since the current 11-hour limit was introduced in 2004.

"In its court appeal, Public Citizen is certain to repeat past arguments that driving time for truck drivers should be reduced by at least one hour per day," NASSTRAC states in a release. "For a decade, NASSTRAC has defended hours of service rules that improve highway safety while recognising the need of motor carriers and their customers for reliability, efficient use of capacity, and productivity, and year after year under the old hours of service rules, crash and fatality rates went down."

NASSTRAC supports ATA's challenge to revisions to the 34-hour restart provision that would keep some drivers off-duty longer between work weeks. Public Citizen wants the court to kill, not revise, the restart provision, said the report.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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