Asleep at the Wheel

Partner: Public Citizen

Credit: Max Duggan.

In late 2008, just weeks before President Obama took office, the Bush Administration finalized a rule increasing the amount of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel—creating a possible public health and safety hazard.

Under the new regulation, truckers may drive for eleven hours per day instead of ten—over 25% more than previously allowed by federal law.

Two previous versions of the rule were thrown out by the court. In 2004, the appeals court held the rule was flawed because it failed to take into consideration itsserious health impact on the regulated drivers.

Policy Integrity joined together with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, OMB Watch, the Society for Occupational and Environmental Health, and the Union of Concerned Scientists to file an amici curiae in litigation challenging the regulation in the D.C. Circuit brought by Public Citizen and other groups. The case has currently been put on hold while the coalition works with the Obama Administration agreeing to make important reforms to the rule.

Policy Integrity wrote an amicus brief on behalf of five public interest organizations in support of our challenge to a Bush Administration regulation that substantially increased the number of hours that truck drivers are allowed to drive. This brief destroyed the agency’s flawed cost-benefit analysis. Policy Integrity brought to bear its considerable expertise in cost-benefit analysis and concise, persuasive arguments that laid bare the flaws in the agency’s methodology.

– Gregory Beck, Public Citizen

Issue(s): Cost-Benefit Analysis, Safety