Online Petition is Missing One Critical Component….FACTS!
24,440 Truck drivers have signed an online petition titled Immediately Suspend the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Rule as of this writing in hopes that the FMCSA will suspend the ELD Mandate as a result of a perceived increase in driver related deaths due to the ELD.
THE PETITIONAccording to the FMCSA, The electronic logging device (ELD) rule – congressionally mandated as a part of MAP-21 – is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data.
According to the online petitioner cited a NHTSA report released October 23rd, 2019 which reportedly showed “that in 2018, the first full year the new ELD rule was in effect for the trucking industry to enforce commercial motor vehicle operators’ compliance with hours of service regulations, more than 2 occupants of large trucks died. Every. Single. Day.”
The argument being that with the ELD mandate, drivers are forced to run harder, faster and ultimately recklessly due to the time constraints imposed by the ELD Mandate which enforces the Hours of Service regulations that were already in-service and required of drivers. The ELD mandate is looked at by many as a way to keep drivers honest, requiring them to follow the rules rather than finding ways to get around them.THE DATA
A look at the actual data shows that a total of 885 “large truck” occupants were killed in 2018 as a result of both single vehicle and multiple vehicle accidents which is up 7 or .08% from 2017 in which 878 occupants were killed.
Here are some important facts to consider. When looking at other people killed in these crashes involving large trucks 4,066 people were killed which is up 39 (1%) from 2017.
146 large truck drivers were involved in fatal crashes in 2018 which was down from 148 in 2017Its important to note that the NHTSA classifies any commercial vehicle over 10,000 lbs as a large truck and includes fatal accidents including these vehicles in this report.
OUR TAKEThe fact is, for drivers, the ELD mandate stinks. It forces the driver to keep their daily logs honest and there is really no way around it. With the combination of the “Cheap Freight” epidemic, we can not really fault these drivers for running hard, as they have to make a living but the ELD Mandate is not the issue. The current H.O.S. regulations are really driving these drivers to feel the pressure of the ELD’s. The days of running multiple logs, changing start times, and altering mileage are gone. The ELD mandate locks in the driver.
While the petitioner attempts to imply that the increase if “occupant” deaths are due to the ELD mandate, it is speculation. Based on this type of logic one could also argue that the ELD mandate in-fact slowed the acceleration of truck driver deaths as there were 63 additional deaths from 2016 to 2017 before the ELD mandate while only an increase of 7 between 2017 and 2018.
The truth regarding all this along with many of the other trucking related “issues” like the driver shortage, lack of capacity, driver retention and HOS reform are all heavily based on opinion and personal feelings rather than stone cold facts.
We chose to write this article as we feel it is important to get the facts straight…. oh and spellcheck when you create an online petition which claims to represent the trucking industry.
The link to the petition can be found here
The Link to the NHTSA report can be found here