Jonathan Levy, a Department of Justice attorney representing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, told the court that it is "not the court's duty to weigh in on that kind of dispute," and that the agency acted reasonably when it wrote the December 2011 regulation requiring drivers to take rest breaks after driving eight hours and limiting use of the 34-hour restart.
Levy's defense before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit came after Erika Jones, an attorney with the Mayer Brown law firm representing American Trucking Associations, accused FMCSA of overestimating the societal benefits of the regulatory changes by misinterpreting scientific studies to justify HOS restrictions.
If the data were used correctly, the agency's cost-benefit analysis would have shown the rule to have a net cost, Jones said.
"This rule is not likely to have been enacted as it was if the agency had used the data correctly," she said.
ATA filed its lawsuit in February 2012, urging the court to overturn the 34-hour restart changes and the requirement for a 30-minute break in which the driver is off duty.
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