Steve Williams and Kevin Knight, president and vice president, respectively, of the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, also known as the Trucking Alliance, released the following statement today. Mr. Williams is chairman and CEO of Maverick Transportation in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Knight is Executive Chairman of the Board of Knight Transportation in Phoenix, Arizona. The Trucking Alliance is a leading proponent of safety reforms in the freight transportation industry.
“On July 17, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee approved the US Department of Transportation funding for the next fiscal year. The legislation will now be considered by the full House of Representatives.
“Contained within the legislation is language that would delay the installation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) in all interstate commercial trucks. Mandated by Congress in 2012, these ELDs will track and verify the number of hours that commercial drivers are behind the wheel. ELDs will keep drivers from falsifying paper logbooks, reduce truck driver fatigue, and lower the number of large truck accidents on the nation’s highways.
“There’s no valid reason to delay this much needed truck safety measure. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is doing an admirable job to meet the timeline by December 17, 2017, the date which requires that all commercial interstate trucks install these electronic devices.
“In a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao last April, we warned that certain small segments of the trucking industry would try and delay this important safety measure. The House appropriations committee’s action appears to bear this out. We want to reemphasize in this statement the importance of what we wrote to Secretary Chao just four months ago.
“ELDs will save lives.
FMCSA has evaluated the inherent safety benefits that accrue to carriers that utilize ELDs – an 11.7 percent reduction in crash rates and a 50 percent reduction in hours-of-service violations. Further, the agency estimates that after ELDs are fully installed in all interstate commercial trucks, 1,844 large truck crashes will be avoided, reducing hundreds of injuries and saving the lives of at least 26 people each year.
“ELDs will improve a truck driver’s quality of life.
Trucking companies and the drivers they employ pride themselves on their work ethic and their commitment to safety. Truck drivers contribute to a strong economy and the standard of living we enjoy.
But truck drivers have a difficult job that requires a deep sense of responsibility. They must meet the expectations of both their employer and the shipping customer. Yet their work ethic and commitment to perform well are often placed at cross purposes, either directly or indirectly, with expectations that force them to extend their work hours beyond what the human condition can safely and legally perform. ELDs will provide all commercial drivers with a method to withstand these pressures.
“The ELD rule will improve highway safety and lower the number of large truck accidents. Further, the ELDs will enable both trucking companies and their drivers to proudly demonstrate their enviable work ethics, but within the legal framework of federal hours of service rules. Industrywide compliance will ensure that the nation’s commercial truck drivers are rested, safer and more secure in their jobs.
“In conclusion, the ELD rule is one of several current safety reforms that must be adopted to reduce large truck accidents, injuries and fatalities. Our industry shares the highways with millions of people each day. We must keep the public’s trust, by ensuring the public that commercial drivers are properly trained, rested, drug and alcohol free and compliant with the law. The ELD rule is critical to achieving that goal.”