ELD Delay Proposal Creates Divide in Trucking
The push for electronic logging devices was a long journey, and the passing of the mandate was seen as a victory for some. However, others within the field of freight transportation have been vocal about the problems present with the mandate. Though the move away from paper log books may be all but a certainty at this point, there are still efforts to delay the upcoming deadline.
With December 18th approaching quickly, some drivers and carriers are still struggling to comply with the new changes. From concerns about costs to qualms about privacy, there have been many arguments made against the mandatory implementation of electronic logging devices.
A bill introduced by U.S. Representative Brian Babin (TX-36) last week may buy some more time for those in trucking who are still struggling to make the switch to ELDs. If passed, the bill would extend the deadline by two years.
H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017, is aimed at making things a bit easier for small businesses and ensuring they’re not put at a disadvantage from regulatory compliance. The sentiment is that drivers who wish to implement ELDs should be able to do so at their discretion, but that forcing the mandate on unwilling and unprepared carriers is a detriment to their business.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is very supportive of the bill, citing unanswered technical questions and uncertainties about enforcement guidelines heading toward the current deadline. Combined with cybersecurity concerns and a lack of information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the issues with ELDs make the switch a bad move for many in the industry.
The American Trucking Association, which represents some of the largest and most well-established carriers in the US, has been vocally opposed to any delay on the enforcement of ELDs across the industry. Though they’ve referred to the move as a “common sense” and “data-driven” regulation, many drivers and carriers still maintain it is one of many mandates crafted by larger companies to undermine smaller competitors under the guise of safety.
OOIDA has consulted multiple courts about overturning or delaying the mandate. Only two weeks ago, the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge against the ELD mandate.