A former Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration official is taking aim at four studies the agency used to support its hours-of-service proposed rule, American Trucking Associations said Thursday.
One day after the comment period on the proposed new rules ended, Ronald Knipling, who headed FMCSAâ€™s research division, criticized a study from Pennsylvania State University researchers, concluding that the sample of drivers, trucks and crashes â€” as well as minimal attention paid to other crash factors â€” rendered the study of little value.
Researcher Francesco Cappuccio had said previously that FMCSA had misused his sleep research, ATA said in March.
â€œIt would be erroneous and unwarranted to accept Penn Stateâ€™s principal findings and conclusions without extensive re-analysis, internal validation, and external replication,â€� Knipling wrote.
Knipling said his research showed fatigue related to lack of sleep, being awake for more than 16 hours and early morning driving were factors in many single-vehicle truck crashes, though fatigue-related driving and work schedules as prescribed by daily HOS rules were not.
ATA President Bill Graves said Kniplingâ€™s work in reviewing the latest reports only underscores how weak FMCSAâ€™s case for change really is.
ATA and much of the motor carrier industry have opposed to changes in the HOS rule, saying that truckingâ€™s safety ratings are at all-time bests under the current rule.
FMSCA Administrator Anne Ferro said recently that the agency expects to complete its work on the proposed HOS rule by October.
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