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National ATA asks industry to support December ELD implementation

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Recently, the Dept. of Transportation published in the federal register a request for public comment on the ELD rule moving toward the planned December 18 implementation date.

To keep industry constituents informed of the latest news and developments on Capitol Hill and within the Federal Agencies impacting this issue, a legislative and regulatory wrap up from the American Trucking Associations can be found here. National ATA anticipated this notice and has convened several member committees and working groups to identify regulations that are great candidates for removal or adjustment. ELDs, along with a host of other rules, would be eligible for this and OOIDA has targeted this process to complain about the rule. This notice is routine activity as administration’s change. OOIDA is attempting to co-opt this routine activity to draw attention to its opposition to ELDs.

They’ve submitted a request for extension asking for an additional 30 days “given the number of regulatory rules and agency actions we believe should be addressed.” This request for extension has been followed by nearly 100 “comments,” most of which are, at best, unsubstantiated and, at worst, patently false, complaints about ELDs and Hours of Service more broadly. Simply put, OOIDA latched onto routine agency activity with their petition, trying to make it about ELDs, when it is not.

Meanwhile, the American Trucking Associations and the Alabama Trucking Association encourage their members, drivers and partners to submit comments to show broad support for the December 18th implementation date. Submit comments by visiting https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=DOT-OST-2017-0069 and clicking on the “Comment Now!” button.

Below are primary bullet points, and additional helpful information in support of the ELD Rule. Use these to formulate your comment in support of the ELDs and the December 18 implementation date.

  • The ELD rule, finalized in 2015, simply requires drivers who are currently required to track their Hours of Service to do so electronically, instead of on paper logs.
  • Compared to outdated pen and paper methods of tracking driver hours, this modern-day technology is more accurate, easier to enforce, more difficult to falsify and will ultimately save lives.
  • Drivers will benefit from the time savings they will gain from not having to fill out a paper log.
  • A 2014 FMCSA report looking at the benefits of ELD use found that ELD-equipped carriers saw an 11.7 percent reduction in crash rate and a 50 percent drop in hour-of-service violations.
  • Law enforcement, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), have all come out in favor of the rule and strongly oppose any delay in implementation.
  • FMCSA’s estimate of a $3.01 billion benefit from this rule, resulting from crash reductions and a decreased paperwork burden, more than offsets the costs of implementation. In fact, the net benefit of this rulemaking is estimated at $1.18 billion.
  • Congress passed ELD legislation in 2012, so there has been knowledge of this regulation coming for five years, and many carriers have already installed ELDs in their fleets to comply with the rule.
  • The ELD rule has been upheld by numerous federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which became the most recent court to reject arguments opposing the ELD mandate, to support the ELD final rule.