ARLINGTON, Va., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves today called on members of the upcoming conference committee on the surface transportation bill to do the right thing for driver and highway safety and require motor carriers use electronic logging devices to promote drivers' compliance with hours of service driving limits.
"We urge conferees in both bodies to adopt the Senate's requirement for carriers to use electronic logging devices to monitor drivers' hours-of-service compliance," Graves said. "Clearly, these devices lead to greater compliance with maximum driving limits - which is very good for the trucking industry as a whole and highway safety."
ATA supports an electronic logging mandate, based on feedback from member carriers who find the technology improves compliance, safety and operating efficiency.
"Many logging devices, or electronic onboard recorders, have additional functions that aid in managing fuel use, routes and other aspects of fleet operations - reducing fuel consumption and making carriers more efficient and environmentally responsible," Graves said. "In addition, research shows that drivers at fleets using electronic logging devices report improved morale."
Congress should require all large trucks be equipped with an electronic logging device and, by doing so, stand with law enforcement officials and the vast majority in the trucking industry who want to further improve trucking's compliance and safety record.
Senate highway bill includes burdensome, $2 billion "big brother" mandate
GRAIN VALLEY, Mo., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Despite being previously struck down by a federal court, a costly and unnecessary mandate has been included in the U.S. Senate's highway surface transportation funding legislation.
U.S. truckers see it as the last thing a struggling trucking industry needs right now and want to see it removed.
A provision in S.1813 requires all long-haul trucks to be outfitted with electronic on-board recorders, or EOBRs, capable of real-time tracking for monitoring of trucks and drivers. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association contends EOBRs are an unproven technology, providing no cost benefit or highway safety improvement.
"It's exorbitantly expensive while providing no safety benefit whatsoever," says Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice-president. "This is being done under the guise of compliance with federal hours-of-service regulations, but it is actually a way for large motor carrier companies to squeeze more 'productivity' out of drivers and increase costs for the small trucking companies they compete with," said Spencer.
A regulatory version of an EOBR mandate was struck down by a federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit because the FMCSA failed to deal with the harassment of drivers. Noted in that ruling was the fact that no research has shown how such a mandate would do anything to improve highway safety.
"EOBRs are no more reliable than paper log books for tracking hours of service," said Spencer. "Plus, we hear every day from truckers whose companies use the devices to harass truckers into driving more hours."
The current EOBR rulemaking has been estimated by the Obama administration to cost the industry $2 billion if enacted. In response to a request made by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to disclose all rulemakings in excess of $1 billion, President Obama listed the current EOBR rulemaking as one of the seven most expensive regulations pursued by the administration.
OOIDA sent a letter to the Senate conferees which can be by visiting the Media Center at www.ooida.com .