Truck Drivers to Protest ELD Mandate
Many prominent figures in the trucking industry have said they believe the December 18 mandate regarding electronic logging devices will go into effect without issue.
Not all truck drivers are as sure about this, and some are exercising their objections in the form of a protest.
With widespread concerns about the negative effects of abandoning paper logbooks in favor of ELDs, protests in DC are currently taking place. The multi-day event gained traction in late September and is proceeding through early October.
A big part of truck driving involves allowing the workers to use their best judgement. But ELDs will make it tough for drivers to make their own decisions on the road. Beyond the issue of limiting the amount of time drivers can spend on the road, the device also mandates times for breaks. This may not always be easy to comply with, and serves as only one example of how ELDs could make truckers’ lives harder than they need to be.
Beyond mandating drivers take rest breaks when they aren’t tired or simply requiring them to get off the road during an inconvenient time, the ELD mandate has also raised concerns about privacy.
Drivers protesting the law have already taken turns voicing their concerns to the Department of Transportation – from outside via a megaphone.
Some truck drivers have even questioned whether they’d like to continue in the industry should the mandate go into effect. Another law, especially one with this many implications, means more controls and more costs to keep track of. Though purportedly aimed at safety, the law deals a heavy blow to the liberating work life the freight industry once offered.
Trucking protests come in many forms. One of the most recent was the Day Without a Trucker event, which saw drivers heading to DC to raise awareness for the growing epidemic of violence against America’s truck drivers.
After the ELD mandate goes into effect, a grace period will be enacted until April 1 for drivers to comply. It’s a slim chance that these protests will undo the already controversial mandate, but it’s highly likely the mandate itself will impact the future of the industry significantly.