From truck stops to statehouses around the nation, groups of truckers took to the streets to raise awareness with lawmakers and the general public about the negative impacts they foresee from an upcoming electronic logging device mandate.
More than 40 locations from California to New York were slated to have events as part of a nationwide “media blitz” to call attention to the plight of small business truckers and independent owner-operators, who say that electronic logs will add an estimated $2 billion in costs to the industry without providing any of the safety benefits touted by the mandate’s supporters.
A public Facebook group for the Monday events is distributing information, as well as pictures, photos and local news reports of the events. Many of the rallies took place in state capitols or at truck stops near major interstates.
A group of about 50 truckers held a news conference in the office of U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), while large groups of trucks circled the statehouses in Lincoln, Neb., and Harrisburg, Pa.
Congressman Brian Babin, the sponsor of HR3282 – a bill that would delay the ELD mandate for two years – met with drivers participating in a rally in Baytown, Texas. Babin’s bill would push back the mandate by two years, until December 2019.
Tom Carter, a trucker from Boonville, Mo., was among a small group of drivers who gathered at the Petro Stopping Center on I-70 in Oak Grove, Mo., to participate in today’s events. Carter says he opposes the mandate because it is detrimental to the careers of small business truckers.
“I’m a 30-year veteran (of trucking),” he said in an interview with Land Line Now. “I’ve logged over 4.5 million miles without a single wreck or a single moving violation. I don’t need (an ELD) help to accomplish that.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes the mandate. OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer says the Association supports truckers' efforts to raise awareness about the mandate.
“The ELD mandate is among the premiere examples of public policy that should not be made,” Spencer said. “Lawmakers need to fix what they messed up and citizens need to know these misguided policies affect them too.”
Land Line Now correspondent Mary McKenna contributed to this report.
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