In an official notice released on Dec. 7, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) denied 10 electronic logging device (ELD) exemption requests from different trucking organizations. The ELD mandate is a federal government-issued mandate that requires commercial truck drivers to install ELDs in their vehicles by Dec. 18, 2017. An ELD is an electronic device that logs commercial truck drivers’ hours, which contrasts greatly with the hand-written paper logs that most truckers used before the requirement took effect.
The ELD mandate forces truckers to follow the hours-of-service law, which puts time limits on how much driving truckers can do and prevents them from working over 70 hours in eight days. It was implemented with hopes of making roads safer for truck and civilian drivers through the reduction of fatigue-related collisions. A limited number of ELD exemptions are approved for short-haul operations within a 100 air-mile radius and for agricultural operations within a 150-air mile radius.
A recurring explanation that FMCSA used to explain the denials is uncertainty that the companies will comply with safety standards without ELDs The rejected companies encompass the following: Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), American Disposal Service (ADS), Association of Energy Service Companies (AESC), Cudd Energy Services (CES), SikhsPAC and North American Punjabi Trucker Association (NAPTA), National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Power and Construction Contractors Association (PCCA), Towing and Recovery Association of America, and the Western Equipment Dealers Association (WEDA).
As previously stated, a majority of truckers in the United States are now legally required to have ELDs installed in their vehicles. Non-exempt drivers who do not comply with the mandate can be fined $1,000 to over $10,000 U.S. dollars. Even more significant than the monetary fine, however, is the public safety threat that results when drivers refuse to uphold basic mandates meant to minimize accidents. Moving forward, we can only hope that the denied companies install ELDs quickly so that preventable fatigue-caused accidents are minimized in the near future.
Michael Leizerman is a truck accident attorney specializing in catastrophic multi-axle collisions. He understands all facets of truck accident litigation; including federal regulations, drug and alcohol testing and hours of service requirements. He has authored a treatise entitled Litigating Truck Accident Cases and often educates other attorneys on trucking laws and regulations. You can learn more about Leizerman & Young by visiting their website, www.truckaccidents.com.