America’s Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has asked top officials from each state to seriously review potential problems anticipated with enforcement of the federal ELD trucking mandate.
The letter, from OOIDA to all state attorneys general has been copied to representatives in each state for the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, a federal grant program that provides financial assistance to states. It follows a request from Curtis Hill, Jr., the Indiana Attorney General, to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), asking for a delay of the ELD mandate citing numerous concerns that reflect many of the same issues raised by truck drivers.
The letter from OOIDA says that public statements made by FMCSA, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, various state enforcement agencies, and others demonstrate a widespread misunderstanding of the legal obligations imposed upon motor carriers and drivers under the ELD regulations. In particular, OOIDA is concerned about potential misinterpretations of the mandate’s exemptions for older model trucks.
“The FMCSA website offers confusing and contradictory information on what models of trucks are obligated to employ ELDs under the rule,” said Todd Spencer, Executive VP.
The letter describes how OOIDA contacted over 15 states’ commercial motor vehicle enforcement agencies to ask if there was consensus on how to enforce this ELD exemption.
“There was none,” says the OOIDA letter. “The states have taken positions that range from following the plain language of the rule, to following FMCSA’s guidance, to an approach similar to CVSA’s and, in some cases, to taking no position yet.”
The letter from OOIDA and an accompanying document point out the mandate increases the amount of data available to law enforcement, suggesting that states should adopt new statutes to protect privacy of drivers and limit the use of data to hours of service compliance determinations only.
The ELD mandate is estimated to cost stakeholders over $2 billion annually, making it one of the most expensive federal transportation rulemakings over the last decade.
“The mandate provides no safety, economic, or productivity benefits for most ensnared by the mandate,” said Spencer. “With so many unanswered questions with exemptions and use of electronic data, an immediate delay is highly warranted to avoid wasted resources and costly disputes within the enforcement and carrier community.”