OOIDA: Problems with ELD mandate affect more than leasing companies

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 4/24/2017

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association agrees with many of the Truck Renting and Leasing Association’s concerns about the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. However, OOIDA doesn’t believe those concerns are exclusive to the truck renting and leasing industry.

OOIDA submitted formal comments on April 21 in opposition to the Truck Renting and Leasing Association’s request for an exemption to the ELD mandate.

“OOIDA remains fundamentally opposed to the ELD mandate and believes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has failed to address a number of issues regarding its implementation,” OOIDA wrote. “TRALA cites technical concerns regarding interoperability of data between devices, truck breakdowns, and data transfer and liability concerns as why their vehicles should be exempted from the ELD mandate. While these points are legitimate, they are not limited to just the truck renting and leasing industry. Carriers of all sizes will encounter these same problems, along with ELD manufacturers and law enforcement agencies if the ELD rule is not delayed.”

The ELD mandate is set to take effect Dec. 18 of this year. OOIDA has long argued that mandatory ELDs are unconstitutional under the search and seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment, and the Association recently petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

In TRALA’s petition they note that “requiring lessors to bear the burden of safeguarding the data for each renter would expose the rental company to tremendous risk, including with respect to data security and data protection.”

“Yet, FMCSA is currently requiring all carriers and drivers to purchase ELD devices that have not met any cybersecurity thresholds to protect both their professional and personal data,” OOIDA wrote.

TRALA also noted issues regarding interoperability.

“The agency is therefore counting on the marketplace to resolve the issues that the agency itself failed to resolve in its final rule,” TRALA wrote. “Further, the agency has declined to engage technical experts of ELD manufacturers and users to resolve these interoperability concerns within the context of the rulemaking process.”

Again, OOIDA agrees with TRALA’s concerns, but argues that the issue is a problem for all stakeholders, not just rental and leasing companies.

“OOIDA understands many significant technological concerns with the ELD mandate remain unresolved, including the certification of devices, connectivity problems in remote areas of the country, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and the ability of law enforcement to access information,” the Association wrote.

“Rather than approve TRALA’s or any other industry specific request for an exemption, FMCSA should delay the current implementation date and first address all of the outstanding issues identified by industry stakeholders.

“The ELD final rule is flawed, and exempting one segment of the trucking industry will not change that.”

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