A grassroots coalition of owner-operators and drivers opposed to the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is planning a series of protests at over 40 locations across the country on Monday Dec. 4.
The 19,000-member group “ELD or Me” originally aimed to hold protests in every state and Charlie Claburn, one of the organizers for the group’s national effort, noted that larger states will have multiple rallies. All are scheduled to commence at 9 a.m. local time.
“We‘re going to have some pretty heavy hitters speaking on Monday,” noted Claburn, a longtime driver and trucking activist based in Diberville, MS, in Facebook broadcast. “Amateur hour is over 9 a.m. on Monday Dec. 4. Truck drivers are all in it together – it’s a team effort. We’re going to get it done. We’re taking back what is ours.”
He also stressed that the protests are not just focused on the ELD mandate.
“You think it’s just about the ELD; we have a lot bigger problems than that little black box they are trying to put in our trucks,” Claburn added.
“They can’t get it right; that’s why we have to go forward and tell the truth,” he said. “They are trying to destroy everything that matters to us. The federal government is trying to grab our throats and strangle us. State governments too; truck drivers are targeted [for citations] in order to bring in revenue – that’s all we are to them, a source of revenue.”
The “ELD or me” coalition said it will seek to inform the general public at via its protest that the devices are unsafe as they will force truck drivers to play “beat the clock” on highways across the nation.
Concerns about the ELD mandate and the devices themselves are spreading. Last week Curtis Hill, Jr., the Attorney General of Indiana, sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) calling for a delay in implementing the mandate.
“With manufactures of ELDs currently responsible for ‘self-certifying’ their compliance with government standards … drivers and operators are left without any way of ascertaining what brands and models of devices will ultimately pass muster,” he said in the letter. They must ‘fly blindly’ into investing in products they are being required to purchase.”
“This request from a state agency is a prime example how states are beginning to understand the reality of this broadly written mandate and its negative consequences. Law enforcement is simply not ready for this,” noted Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)
At present, none of the 193 devices listed on the FMCSA website have been validated by the agency or any unbiased, third-party testing program, OOIDA said.
“Most small-business truckers can ill afford to make these purchases only to learn later that their ELD is non-compliant,” Spencer stressed. “Yet they are required to do so or risk violation.”
ELD or Me’s Claburn stressed that is but one reason the ELD mandate must be stopped and why the group is protesting on a nationwide basis on Monday.
“Truckers matter; our lives matter too and they are putting our future and business in jeopardy,” he said. “It’s got to stop. We as professional drivers have a right to be heard.”