ELD Mandate Continues to Cause Controversy
It’s been well-documented in the past that the new mandate requiring US trucks to utilize electronic logging devices by the end of 2017 has come under fire multiple times. While some are in favor of the mandate, others are vehemently opposed to it. Those who disapprove of the mandate have opposed it on multiple grounds. While some say it is a privacy violation, others claim that it will have an adverse effect on the industry as a whole.
Larry Gross, a senior transportation analyst at FTR Associates said: “As long as there’s not an injunction against ELD implementation or other changes in the regulatory landscape, we’re going to start seeing some tightening and that will work to intermodal’s benefit. But, those are two pretty big assumptions. It could go the other way.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association announced it would be taking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to court over the 2015 regulation. A hearing at a US Court of Appeals will be held in Chicago in September. If previous OOIDA lawsuits are any indicator, the case will likely lead to more investigations, hearings, and debates on the issue.
The US Department of Transportation has said that the ELD mandate will eliminate nearly 2,000 truck-related accidents per year. According to their estimates, the mandate could save approximately 26 lives and prevent over 500 injuries per year. However, the mandate may generate a “capacity crunch” according to some within the industry.
The mandate may end up reducing capacity which would put upward pressure on truck rates paid by shippers. This could drive many shippers to intermodal transportation methods. Jim Johnston, OOIDA president and CEO said: “This regulation is absolutely the most outrageous intrusion into the rights of professional truckers imaginable and will do nothing at all to improve highway safety. In fact, we firmly believe it will do exactly the opposite.”