Joint Statement on ELD Exemption Denials

  • December 10, 2018
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety


December 10, 2018

Contact: Eric Naing 202-408-1711, cell: 217-493-8294,

Attempts to Weaken Truck Driver Electronic Logging Device Rule Denied

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Trucking Alliance Laud the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for Rejecting Baseless Exemptions from Important Truck Safety Protections Which Would Have Further Threatened All Road Uses

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) and the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (the Trucking Alliance) applaud the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for denying 10 exemption requests from the electronic logging device (ELD) regulation.  This common-sense, lifesaving rule requires trucks to be equipped with an ELD to track a driver’s on-duty time.  ELDs are a simple technological solution to the dangerous problem of falsified paper log books, also known as “comic books” in the industry because they can be easily manipulated.  The rule, which took effect in December 2017, was mandated by Congress as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21, P.L. 112-141).  By providing an objective record of a driver’s hours, ELDs promote compliance with hours of service (HOS) protections and are a vital safeguard against fatigued driving, a known major contributor to truck crashes.

Advocates and the Trucking Alliance have long opposed reckless attempts to undermine the ELD rule and filed joint comments opposing all 10 of the exemption requests that were rejected by the FMCSA.  These requests rely on discredited arguments and are especially egregious in light of a recent finding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that crash fatalities involving large trucks have skyrocketed an astonishing 41 percent since 2009.  By rejecting these meritless and dangerous attempts to weaken the ELD rule, the FMCSA prioritized the safety of the public.  We urge the agency to continue to reject these open assaults on truck safety rules.

Peter Kurdock, General Counsel of Advocates, said, “The ELD rule was subject to a lengthy legislative process and judicial review.  Thinly disguised tactics by the industry to delay compliance with the law and recycle baseless arguments against ELDs only serve to put the profit of a few special interests before the safety of all road users.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identified reducing fatigue-related crashes on its 2017/2018 Most Wanted List of safety changes.  The ELD rule is a proven, research-based solution to a public health epidemic.  Eroding it and endangering all truck drivers and motorists should always be an absolute non-starter.”

Lane Kidd, Managing Director of the Trucking Alliance, stated, “The Trucking Alliance is encouraged by FMCSA’s responsible decision to uphold Congress’ intent to ensure that hours of service regulations are upheld.  Electronic logging devices ensure the safety of America’s motoring public.  These devices are a proven safeguard for regulatory compliance and should be as common in large trucks as safety seat belts.”

Shaun Kildare, Director of Research at Advocates, added, “ELDs are already required in numerous countries throughout the world including the European Union and Japan.  Companies have had ample time to comply with the U.S. rule.  With truck crash deaths on a shocking upward trajectory, the FMCSA should continue to hold firm and dismiss all attempts to dilute the effectiveness of this lifesaving rule.”