According to the American Trucking Assns.(ATA), an independent review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) “Regulatory Impact Analysis” prepared for the trucking lobby has “found the Agency wildly overstated the proposal’s benefits.”

ATA said that “while the agency claims its proposal would result in up to $380 million in annual benefits, an Edgeworth Economics’ independent review finds that proposal would result in net costs, and not benefits, of approximately $320 million a year. “

Per an ATA news release, the Edgeworth report states “…we find that FMCSA has overstated the net benefits of the proposed rule by about $700 million annually.” ATA said Edgeworth Economics is “an internationally renowned consulting firm that’s done work for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Football League Players Association” and that it found that FMCSA “used questionable logic, inadequate data and sloppy math in attempting to justify its proposed changes to the hours-of-service rules…”

“FMCSA has made a number of substantial changes to its approach since the previous [regulatory impact analysis] issued in 2007,” according to the Edgeworth report. “We find that, in every instance, FMCSA’s new methodologies and assumptions increase the apparent net benefits of the proposed rule. However, many of FMCSA’s new approaches rely on misapplication of available data, use outdated information, or lack empirical support entirely.”

In addition to being “off base by $700 million annually,” ATA cited these as “other notable findings” of the study:

  • FMCSA made unreasonable assumptions about the safety of the trucking industry by sampling only carriers it subjected to a compliance review, generally for not following federal safety rules
  • In formulating its proposal, FMCSA used crash data collected before the current rules went into effect, completely ignoring their positive safety impact on the industry

“Edgeworth’s analysis pretty clearly shows that FMCSA’s proposal isn’t rooted in sound science, good data or logic, and can’t stand up to scrutiny,” ATA president & CEO Gov. Bill Graves said.

“The findings of this study match what we’ve heard from our members and what ATA has been saying since FMCSA launched this ill-conceived overhaul of these rules: As proposed, the new hours-of-service rules would impose significant costs on the trucking industry without improving safety. These rules are a cure for a disease that we don’t have,” Graves added.

To read the full report, click here.