OOIDA lawsuit leads to Virginia removing thousands of HOS violations

October 2019

Land Line Staff

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An Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association lawsuit that alleged the state of Virginia was enforcing federal 30-minute rest break rules without authority has led to thousands of violations being removed from the federal database.

The parties reached a dismissal agreement on Aug. 2 in Richmond, Va., Circuit Court. As part of the agreement, relevant violations were removed from the Federal Motor Carrier Management Information System database.

“We consider this a victory for truck drivers,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh told Land Line Now’s Terry Scruton. “There were about 2,632 violations found in 2015, 2016 and 2017 that would have gone on CSA and (pre-employment screening) reports for the drivers. The state of Virginia admitted that they couldn’t enforce this and that they were wrong by giving these, so all of these violations will be wiped off your CSA and PSP reports.”

In 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a rule prohibiting commercial motor vehicle operators from driving more than eight consecutive hours without taking a 30-minute break. According to the lawsuit, Virginia State Police were enforcing the rule even though it wasn’t part of law for the Commonwealth of Virginia until Dec. 14, 2017.

OOIDA filed the complaint in January 2018 against several state officials responsible for commercial motor vehicle enforcement.

The state removed the violations in the spring of 2018 and made a statement that it was not authorized to enforce a rule that had not been incorporated into Virginia law. The state also acknowledged that it enforces Virginia law, not federal law, and that it must actively monitor and stay current with federal changes.

“This is an important win in how federal regulations are enforced by state officials,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “They are supposed to adopt those rules into their state codes before handing out warnings or citations that go on permanent records.” LL