Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
Truckers to post comments on proposed ELD rule
Largest association representing truckers says latest proposal still comes up short
(Grain Valley, Mo., March 27, 2014) – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is reaching out to all truckers to encourage them to post comments on a proposed rule to mandate electronic logging devices. OOIDA will be drafting comments on behalf of anyone that would be forced to operate under ELDs if the proposal turns into a final rule, as well as small-business truckers, which make up the majority of trucking businesses. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is set to announce an open comment period which will begin once the proposal is published in the Federal Register on Friday, March 28 and will last for 60 days.
OOIDA says the proposed rule as written will not improve highway safety, does not fully address the issue of driver harassment and does not fulfill the requirements by Congress outlined in the highway bill.
“The agency must address the serious safety issue of how EOBRs are used to harass and coerce truck drivers into continuing to drive regardless of driving conditions, such as bad weather, congested traffic or simply if the driver is too tired to drive,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president. “FMCSA has yet to show any direct correlation between ELD use and reduced crashes or any other kind of safety benefit,” said Spencer.
The Association further notes that FMCSA is moving forward with a rulemaking before collecting data from truckers on an important survey of how ELDs enable driver harassment by motor carriers, and while a study, “Evaluating the Potential Safety Benefits of Electronic Onboard Recorders,” has yet to be completed.
“Instead of waiting until this vital research is done, the agency is basing much of the estimated benefits of this proposal on data from only five motor carriers, despite the fact that there are 500,000 trucking companies across the country,” points out Spencer.
“The annual cost of this rulemaking is, by FMCSA’s own numbers, greater than $1.5 billion, yet the actual safety benefit of the proposal represents less than 25 percent of its cost. The bulk of the savings used by FMCSA to justify their rule comes not from safety benefits, but from the contention that truckers will save 4.5 minutes each per day recording their duty status. Given the fact that trucking is largely a “pay-by-mile” industry and that FMCSA rules already cap the amount of time that a driver can operate a vehicle in a 24-hour period, it is hard to see how such a “savings” should even play a role in the agency’s analysis, much less form the majority of its benefit justification.”
Congress required electronic logging devices to record not only a driver’s driving time, but also record-of-duty status, known as RODS. In the proposed rule, the agency admits there is no known device that is capable of automatically recording a driver’s duty status throughout a work day.
“The agency would like everyone to believe this rule is simply a switch from paper to electronic with no unintended consequences,” said Spencer. “But in reality, they can’t answer the simple question about whether the use of an electronic log on its own would actually make the highways safer and what problems they will cause in terms of reduced safety and problems with efficient freight movement,” Spencer said. “While Congress may have voted for a mandate, there is a lot of difference between the few dozen lines of legislative text and the hundreds of pages of regulatory changes and technical specifications, and it is the job of OOIDA and all truckers to point those out.”
Those who wish to submit comments on Docket Number FMCSA-2010-
0167 may do so using any of the following methods:
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online
instructions for submitting comments.
• Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200
New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington,
• Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200
New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays.
• Fax: 202-493-2251.