The regulation mandating the use of the electronic logs has been in place since December, and with enforcement right around the corner OOIDA is calling on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to hold an oversight hearing.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a letter to the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 28. The letter requests an oversight hearing be held on the electronic logging mandate.
“Among the fundamental responsibilities of Congress is to maintain vigorous oversight of the federal agencies it tasks with implementing new regulations, especially those that will have a significant impact on American businesses and the nation’s economy,” Todd Spencer, OOIDA acting president, said in the letter.
The letter details the staunch opposition the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration faced in the years, months and even weeks before the rule took effect. Beyond that, the letter delves into how many of the fears and concerns brought to the agency have come to pass.
“OOIDA and over 30 other industries impacted by the rule shared serious concerns with you that the agency, law enforcement and the regulated community were not prepared for implementation. These concerns have been validated, as FMCSA has granted a patchwork of temporary waivers, exemptions, and ‘soft enforcement’ deadlines that have only caused more confusion across the country,” Spencer said.
He also points out that the range of problems associated with the mandate are illustrated by the number and diversity of industries requesting exemptions from its requirements, including those submitted by entities who helped convince Congress to enact the regulation back in 2012.
“As we warned, the impact of the rule has been much broader than even its most ardent supporters anticipated,” Spencer said.
And it’s not just end-users (aka the drivers and trucking companies) needing and seeking relief from the regulations. ELD manufacturers are asking for breaks, too, because their devices aren’t compliant.
“These compliance issues came as no surprise to the truckers who have been forced to use ELDs. Since the mandate took effect, truckers have routinely shared with us substantial troubles they’ve experienced related to devices, including several vendorwide systems failures, faulty GPS tracking, inaccurate recording of duty statuses, engine disablements, speed irregularities, abysmal customer service from manufacturers, a worsening truck parking crisis and many more,” Spencer said.
Fortunately, there are those who are starting to listen to the widespread cries for help – and not just at the federal level.
“This has led to growing concern among Members of Congress about how the mandate has been implemented and how it is affecting their constituents. Each week, OOIDA fields calls from Congressional offices looking for assistance with addressing serious problems brought to their attention by local truckers,” Spencer said.
“Furthermore, state legislatures across the country are considering resolutions calling for the federal government to repeal the mandate, as well as legislation prohibiting its enforcement within their borders. Clearly, this federal requirement is having a dramatic impact on the state and local level.”
Spencer concludes the letter by saying that OOIDA believes the time has come for the Committee to exert its oversight authority and conduct a hearing on this important matter to help alleviate current problems and avoid any future difficulties.
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