Transportation Trucking Federal agencies

Bill to further extend ELD exemption for livestock, insect haulers clears Senate

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Washington — The Senate on Aug. 1 passed legislation that would grant an electronic logging device exemption for livestock and insect haulers until Sept. 30, 2019.

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the measure as an amendment to the Senate appropriations “minibus” bill for fiscal year 2019.

“With this extension, we will have more time to bring common sense to these rules and provide additional flexibility,” Fischer said in a press release, citing the “unique challenges” affected haulers face.

The current ELD exemption for livestock and insect haulers runs through Sept. 30 – the end of FY 2018 – after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued two 90-day ELD waivers to those groups. The ELD final rule took effect Dec. 18, 2017, and an enforcement grace period expired March 31.

Proponents of the rule assert that relying on ELDs instead of manual paper logs to track commercial motor vehicle drivers’ hours of service will reinforce safety and efficiency. Opponents believe it violates drivers’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure and lacks existing evidence that it bolsters safety.

On Aug. 1, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association voiced its support on Twitter for Fischer and others who worked toward passing the Senate bill.

“More work still needs to be done on this issue and we needed the extra time,” the association tweeted.

The House has its own version of the legislation – the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (HR 6072) – in committee. If passed, the House and Senate would have to agree on and pass a compromise bill before advancing it to the desk of President Donald Trump.

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