Bills to delay ELD rule being debated this week

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As the U.S. Congress returned to work following its August recess, two bills that are awaiting action are focused on the electronic logging device rule set for a Dec. 18 implementation date.

House Bill 3282 would amend Section 31137(b)(1)(C) of Title 49 of the United States Code with the goal of extending the ELD deadline. An amendment added to House Bill 3354 would serve to delay the mandate as well, Landline Magazine reports.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) introduced the bills to delay the mandate for up to two years. Trade and industry groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) support the bill. Congress is also waiting for the Department of Transportation “to analyze whether a full or targeted delay in ELD implementation and enforcement would be appropriate.”

Delaying the implementation of the ELD mandate has been an initiative that OOIDA has been pushing, according to Trucking Info. The group filed a petition with FMCSA seeking a delay.

In the petition dated Aug. 29, OOIDA pointed out that “26 states have not yet incorporated an electronic logging regulation into state law and are not authorized to enforce the rule until they do so.” OOIDA’s Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said conflicts that will arise since “states are attempting to enforce federal safety standards that have not been part of state law.”

FMCSA is “presently preparing a fact-based response” to the petition, said spokesperson Duane DeBruyne. DeBruyne noted how the ELD mandate is expected to “save more lives” by reducing fatalities “involving large commercial motor vehicles each year.” 

Mike Matousek, Director of Government Affairs for OOIDA, has issued a call to members to keep pushing Congress to amend this ELD mandate.

“We need our members to call and encourage support of Congressman Babin’s bill,” he said.

Actions that members and other stakeholders have been told to do is “actively call and write lawmakers on the impending ELD mandate.”