The American Trucking Associations (ATA) recently told the U.S. Committee on Small Business that it supports the implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate this month.
ELDs improve safety, ATA said, by ensuring strict compliance of hours-of-service requirements.
The use of an ELD reduces hours-of-service violations 50 percent compared to users of paper logs and reduces truck crash rates 11.7 percent, according to federal data.
“Opponents of the ELD rule claim that the use of ELDs will make them less safe by eliminating the flexibility they have by using paper logs,” Collin Stewart, president of Stewart Transport said on behalf of the ATA. “It is important to point out, as federal regulators have, that nothing in the ELD rule changes the current hours of service limits. Drivers who claim that ELDs remove their discretion in deciding when to take a break or when to drive either don’t understand how the current rules are structured or are willfully ignoring them.”
Opponents cite on estimate that implementation will cost the industry $2 billion. This is an overstatement of cost, the ATA said, with implementation actually saving $2 billion once paperwork savings, crashes avoided, and lives saved are considered.