- The latest attempt to delay enforcement of electronic logging devices within the trucking industry, spearheaded by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), failed in a House vote 246-173 Wednesday night, Commercial Carrier Journal reported Thursday. The amendment intended to limit funding for enforcement of the pending ELD mandate through the 2018 fiscal year, ending Sept. 30, 2018.
- Babin filed a standalone bill (that gained 45 co-sponsors) in the House to delay the mandate’s deadline by two years to December 2019. The bill's defeat seems to indicate that lawmakers pushing to enforce the mandate and are unwilling to suffer any delays.
- The current appropriations package includes some policy changes, including a one-year compliance delay for livestock haulers, which effectively blocks states from enacting paid break laws for drivers. A further provision blocking the FMCSA from adding a Safety Fitness Determination rule until it has overhauled the Compliance, Safety, Accountability carrier rating system is also involved.
Truckers opposing the ELD have fought a long battle, but the war appears to have ended at last.
Those against the ELD have cited everything from parking difficulties to potential violations of privacy as reasons for resisting electronic logging devices. They've taken their case to the Supreme Court (unsuccessfully), and then to the House of Representatives, where they failed to establish enough support.
One of the greatest concerns within the trucking industry right now is whether drivers can actually deliver their loads while still observing the 14-hour Hours of Service laws. Arguments from industry pundits regarding falsified paper logs have been made and dismissed as untenable. Yet an early June Roadcheck event demonstrated that 32% of drivers were in violation of their HOS. Perhaps, therefore, the issue lies not with ELDs but rather with the HOS.
Potentially out-of-date or unmanageable regulations may be due for reconsideration along with the ELD implementation due in December, so it would seem that truckers have another battle on their hands.