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Safety advocacy group challenges HOS rule

Safety advocacy group Public Citizen has filed a petition in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in an attempt to block the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) final hours-of-service rule.

“The new rule is a formula for more truck crashes, more deaths, and more injuries,” said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. “This rule works truckers harder than ever. It also violates the mission of FMCSA, which is safety.”

The group, along with Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways and Parents Against Tired Truckers, said the new rule increases truckers' driving hours by more than 20%. However, groups that study sleeping patterns have noted that the new rule puts drivers on a 24-hour cycle as opposed to a 23-hour day.

Under the new rule, drivers will have 10 consecutive off-duty hours instead of eight and be allowed to work 14 consecutive on-duty hours instead of 15 non-consecutive hours. Drivers will be allowed behind the wheel for 11 total driving hours instead of 10.

Public Citizen said it is also concerned because the rule does not require on-board recorders.

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