Following the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) legal challenge to the ELD mandate being thrown out by the Supreme Court on June 14, 2017, OOIDA has turned its lobbying efforts to the United States Congress.
A bill has been introduced to the United States Congress to attempt to delay implementation of ELDs by two years to 2019. To become law, the proposed legislation would first need to be accepted and passed by the full House of Representatives, survive Senate scrutiny and a House-Senate conference committee, be approved by the Senate then signed into law by the President. It is uncertain that this bill would become law before the December 18, 2017 compliance date.
The bill was introduced shortly after the U.S. House Appropriations Committee last week asked the US Department of Transportation to consider whether a “full or targeted delay” of the mandate was prudent, giving particular consideration to the ability of smaller carriers (owner operators) to deploy devices before the deadline.
“We believe the efforts by OOIDA to delay the ELD mandate at the 11th hour is unlikely to succeed,” Steven Newman, CEO of EROAD, said. “Many national stakeholders are proactively lobbying against it, including the largest national trade association for the trucking industry, the American Trucking Associations (ATA).”
The ATA has sent a letter to the FMCSA expressing its staunch opposition to any effort that would delay the December 2017 implementation deadline for ELDs. In the letter written directly to Daphne Jefferson, FMCSA Deputy Administrator, on Friday, Bill Sullivan, ATA’s Executive Vice President for Policy, stated, “Over the past week we have heard from our members, loudly and clearly, that they are vehemently opposed to these attempts to delay this important regulation. The industry stands ready and is prepared to implement ELDs. As our letter explains, it is incumbent on regulators and on Congress to dismiss this last-ditch try by some to evade critically important safety laws.”
Mr Newman noted that it was too early to tell whether OOIDA’s last attempt to delay the ELD mandate would have any appreciable impact on the adoption of ELDs. The delay attempts do however create potential confusion for carriers who now have less than five months to install ELD devices and train drivers prior to the mandate coming into effect.
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