Truckers Rally Against Tracking DevicePosted: Updated:
During a rally in Syracuse, a group of truckers protested a new federal regulation that will require all commercial truck drivers to install "Electronic Logging Devices" or "ELDs" in their vehicles.
"You've got a certain percentage of the industry is just gonna, they're gonna quit. They're tired of all the regulation," said Doug Hasner, truck driver.
An ELD tracks the routes trucks take, how fast they go, plus when and for how long a truck stops.
All of that is to ensure truckers don't spend too much time behind the wheel, endangering themselves and others.
But the drivers protesting the new ELD mandate say it violates their privacy, could force some drivers to break the law in order to make up lost time, and cause many drivers to find another line of work, hurting the industry and driving up retail prices.
"It's gonna cost the industry $17 billion a year. We can't bear that cost. It's gonna have to get passed on to the consumers. You're looking at higher cost for bread, milk, eggs, gas. If it's man-made, we brought it on a truck somewhere," said Hasner.
Supporters of the ELD mandate say it will make the roads safer, but one driver we spoke with disagrees.
"Companies that are on them are racking up 15 mile-an-hour over speed violations with trucks that are barely capable of running the speed limit on the highway. That means they're doing that speeding in work zones, school zones, and in town, where it couldn't be more dangerous," said Pat Valenti, truck driver.
Regulations require truckers to take a 10 hour break, uninterrupted after a maximum of 14 hours on-duty. But say, 3 hours into the 10 hour break, a driver needs to move their truck. The ELD will record that their truck was moved, and force them to reset the clock, costing the trucker valuable drive time.
"If you move the truck 100 feet, it puts you on the drive line. It puts you on duty," said Hasner.
A Texas congressman has introduced a resolution that would delay the ELD mandate for two years.
Protesting truckers are hopeful that will pass. Otherwise the mandate takes effect on December 18.