WASHINGTON — Retailers stocking store shelves for holiday got a gift from federal regulators last week who upheld existing limits on commercial truck drivers' hours behind the wheel after a federal court said the time period should be cut.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation, issued an interim ruling on Dec. 11 that maintains the existing limit of 11 consecutive hours and then 10 hours of rest.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in July that the number of hours that a truck driver could be on the road should be cut to 10 hours, but stayed a final decision until Dec. 27, pending more information from the government. Consumer advocacy groups had sued to limit the driving hours, arguing trucker fatigue led to more fatalities and put the public at risk.
"The data makes clear that these rules continue to protect drivers, make our roads safer and keep our economy moving," John H. Hill, administrator of the safety administration, said in a statement.
The agency cited 2006 statistics, showing that the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.94 — the lowest rate ever recorded.
For retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which owns one of the largest private truck fleets in the U.S. and has one of the most extensive logistics and supply chain networks, a reduction in hours for truckers could lead to higher transportation costs and a cut into the bottom line, said supply chain and trucking experts.
"This capacity issue is very critical to every retailer in America," said Gary Petty, president and chief executive officer for the National Private Truck Council, which has members such as Wal-Mart Transportation, VF Jeanswear, Milliken & Co. and Target Corp. "How often a truck gets in, what load it's carrying and how frequently and rapidly it all gets distributed on shelves is so fundamental to the success of retailers' individual stores and to the success of our economy."
Petty said there has been no evidence to the "compromise of public safety" with the 11-hour rule and argued that drivers are generally more productive because the rule gives them the opportunity to increase their compensation.Consumer advocacy groups, such as Ralph Nader's Public Citizen, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, were disappointed with the latest developments.
"With its action...the [Bush] administration has shown that it is willing to risk carnage on the highways to boost the bottom line for big corporations," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen and a former administrator with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a statement.
"We urge the agency to draft a rule based on science instead of industry politics — a rule that will protect truck drivers and those of us who share the road with them."
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)