The Trucking Alliance wants intrastate drivers to be required to use electronic logging devices...

The Trucking Alliance wants intrastate drivers to be required to use electronic logging devices to track their hours.

Photo courtesy J.J. Keller

The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, also known as the Trucking Alliance, is calling for all state legislatures to require electronic logging devices in commercial trucks that only operate within their state (intrastate).

Lane Kidd, managing director of the coalition of transportation companies that lobbies to reduce large truck accidents, injuries, and fatalities, told HDT that the new policy statement was drafted because “to our knowledge, there are no states that require ELDs in commercial trucks that operate in intrastate commerce. We’re hopeful that state trucking associations will start the movement.”

In a July 20 statement, Kidd said that, "Since Congress required electronic logging devices in all interstate commercial trucks to monitor the hours that truck drivers spend behind the wheel, violations are down dramatically. Truck drivers no longer have paper log books to manipulate and falsify.

"State legislatures should consider doing what Congress has done, and require all large trucks to install these devices to make sure drivers are obeying the law," he added. "Electronic logging devices should be as common in large trucks as seat belts are." 

The policy statement is actually two-fold: Firstly, the Alliance is “encouraging” the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to expand its statutory authority and require ELDs in all interstate commercial trucks, "as Congress directed and regardless of the commodity or length of haul." Secondly, the Alliance is “urging” state legislatures to require ELDs in all commercial trucks that operate exclusively within their state and are engaged in intrastate commerce.

According to Kidd, the policy statement is supported by these sets of facts:

“ELDs are the Law”

  • The Trucking Alliance has advocated for the installation of ELDs in commercial trucks since 2010
  • In 2012, in a bipartisan vote, Congress required that all commercial trucks engaged in interstate commerce install ELDs to verify that truck drivers comply with federal hours-of-service rules
  • Following an extensive rulemaking process, and at the direction of Congress, the Department of Transportation required all interstate commercial trucks to install ELDs by December 17, 2017
  • ELDs are not currently required for large segments of the industry, such as drivers operating in intrastate commerce and those operating in interstate commerce within a 100 air mile radius of their work reporting location

“The ELD Law is Working”

  • Since the ELD Law took effect in December 2017, truck driver hours-of-service violations are down 46%
  • The ELD Law is reducing truck driver fatigue, a critical factor in large truck crashes
  • FMCSA estimates that 1,844 large truck crashes will be avoided and 26 lives will be saved each year with the ELD law, reversing a disturbing trend in which 4,317 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2016, the highest number since 2007
  • FMCSA further estimates that ELDs will result in a net economic benefit of $1.1 billion annually, a figure that will increase if ELDs are required in all trucks engaged in intrastate commerce

“ELDs Report Safety-Related Data”

  • ELDs are simply recording devices and have no effect on hours-of-service rules
  • ELDs accurately and truthfully record a driver’s actual on-duty driving time, unlike the paper log books that ELDs replaced and which could be easily manipulated

“ELDs Will Improve Hours-of-Service Regulations”

  • Historically, federal hours-of-service regulations are changed through a rulemaking process. This process should be based on sound science and accurate data, rather than political impulse. Further, previous rulemakings relied on data derived from paper logbooks, which are prone to human error and falsification
  • ELDs will now produce accurate data and provide the knowledge to provide for a more accurate understanding of trucking operations, including:
  1. Accurate number of hours being driven
  2. The time drivers spend waiting at shipper and receiver locations, for shipments to be loaded and unloaded
  3. Slow transit time, due to traffic congestion
  4. Information related to certain commodities that require special consideration
  5. Correlations between commercial motor vehicle collisions and such factors as the number of hours driven, the time of day accidents occur, and hours-of-service compliance.
  6. ELDs will provide accurate information, for developing sound policy, including:
  7. Detention policies
  8. Truck parking shortages
  9. Hours-of-service rules
  10. Highway infrastructure investment

“ELDs Will Improve the Supply Chain”

  • ELDs will serve as the critical foundation to build the nation’s future supply chain, enabling commercial drivers and citizens to maintain the quality of life that all Americans enjoy.

Related— Q&A: Lane Kidd Explains the Aims of the Trucking Alliance

About the author
David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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