Federal agencies Hours of service Bus/limo/taxi Trucking Transportation

Mandatory ELD use still on track for CMV drivers after House rejects delay

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Photo: WendellandCarolyn/iStockphoto

Washington – The House has rejected the latest attempt to delay by two years the implementation of a federal mandate requiring commercial motor vehicle drivers to use electronic logging devices in place of paper logs to track hours of service.

On Sept. 6, the House voted down (246-173) the ELD Extension Act of 2017 proposed by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX). The ELD final rule is scheduled to go into effect Dec. 18.

Seen by its opponents as big government meddling, mandatory ELD use has survived numerous court challenges in the past year – the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit denied an attempt to block the mandate on Oct. 31, and the Supreme Court on June 12 declined to hear an appeal.

The American Trucking Associations applauded the House vote to retain the rule’s effective date.

“ATA has supported, and will support, this important regulation,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said in a press release. “Congress has now voted a fourth time to move forward with electronic logging of the existing hours-of-service information required for decades. Make no mistake, the time for debate about electronic logging is over, and we’re pleased that Congress has rejected this ill-conceived effort to delay their implementation.

“For a decade, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has repeatedly spoken, the courts have spoken, law enforcement has spoken, the industry has spoken and Congress has spoken in favor of the benefits of [ELDs]. … Tonight’s vote should end what is left of this debate so our industry can carry on with the business of complying with this regulation.”

Groups that supported the legislation urged their members to continue to voice their views to Congress.

“The concerns raised by us, by Congress and industry stakeholders have not changed,” Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said in a press release. “There are too many unanswered questions about the technical specifications and enforcement guidelines of the mandate. This includes issues related to enforcement, connectivity, data transfers, cybersecurity vulnerabilities and many other real-world concerns.”

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