Nearly 1,700 comments filed in support of OOIDA’s ELD exemption request

January 11, 2018

Land Line Staff


To date, the request for exemption from the electronic logging mandate filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has nearly 1,700 comments filed – many in support of the exemption.

OOIDA’s exemption request asks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to allow small trucking carriers that do not have an “unsatisfactory” safety rating and can document a proven history of safety performance without attributable at-fault crashes to be allowed to continue to use paper logs rather than ELDs to record hours of service.

“The exemption would provide owner-operators relief from burdensome device installation and maintenance costs as well as the unresolved enforcement, cybersecurity, and privacy concerns associated with the mandate,” OOIDA stated in its Call to Action email sent to members on Jan. 3. “This is the time to let FMCSA know how the mandate is currently impacting you and why ELDs are not a one-size-fits-all solution.”

OOIDA issued a Call to Action earlier in January, asking all drivers to file comments in support of the request.

The Call to Action notes that the agency “must take public feedback into account as they determine whether or not to grant the exemption” and advises those submitting comments, to “provide specific details and reasoning about how the exemption would improve the safety and efficiency of your business.

“FMCSA has already granted exemptions and waivers for large carriers such as UPS, the ag industry, and rental truck fleets – they should also acknowledge small-business carriers who have shown they can drive safely without ELDs.”

Click here to submit comments directly to docket No. FMCSA-2017-0356.
Click here to read the formal application for exemption notice.

OOIDA has long been skeptical of the purported safety benefits of the devices. The Association notes that many large motor carriers have been using ELDs for years, but a 2011 study done by FMCSA found little research supporting the effectiveness of electronic logging devices in reducing crashes.

The five-year exemption requested by OOIDA would provide necessary time for the agency to fully vet electronic logging devices, which would alleviate small-business motor carriers from learning that they purchased a device that could damage their vehicles’ electronic control module or be hacked.

Commercial truck drivers are restricted to a limited number of working and driving hours under current regulations. The FMCSA’s mandate requires that truck drivers use ELDs to track their driving and nondriving activities even though such devices can only track movement and location of a vehicle. OOIDA contends that requiring electronic monitoring devices on commercial vehicles does not advance safety since they are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording compliance with hours-of-service regulations.

To date, the agency has received at least 18 exemption applications for the ELD mandate.

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