Debate Continues Over ELD Mandate
The ELD mandate has been a topic of great interest in the trucking industry since it was announced. Much discussion has occurred both privately and in a legal atmosphere concerning the issue. More arguments were made before the US Court of appeals for the Seventh Circuit earlier in the week.
A three-judge panel heard challenges to the ELD mandate from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. OOIDA has been vocal in the past about ELDs being a potential threat to driver privacy, even going as far as to get the initial rule vacated. The organization represents small-business truckers, who place a high value on privacy and freedom in their work arrangement.
OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston said that the mandate could have the largest negative impact of anything done by the FMCSA in the industry. OOIDA is currently waiting patiently on the new ruling, confident that the rule will be vacated once again.
However, not every organization within the industry feels the same way. The American Trucking Associations has stated that the judges seemed less-than-sympathetic to OOIDA’s arguments concerning the ruling. ATA has been notably in favor of the new LED mandate.
But OOIDA officials have given reasons as to why the mandate should be vacated once again. In addition to maintaining that the devices violate privacy and fail to protect drivers against harassment, there are also misunderstandings about how the units actually work. Though they are electronic, they do not record Hours of Service automatically as many seem to think.
In addition, some truckers still don’t agree that the mandate has been substantiated by evidence. Many fail to see how the mandate will improve safety conditions in comparison to the cost of implementing them. Trucking organizations are eagerly awaiting the results of this week’s hearing.