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A tale of two trucking organizations

On January 30, President Donald Trump signed Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, calling for the removal of two existing rules for every new federal regulation. While it captured the attention to many industries, prominent commercial trucking organizations took notice.

However, these groups are not presenting a united front when it comes to truck-safety existing and proposed regulations.

In response to the executive order, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, and 15 industry stakeholders are lobbying Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to prioritize removing mandates involving electronic logging devices (ELDs) and proposed speed limiter requirements.

The organizations allege that these two rules would cost the trucking industry over $2.8 billion to implement. In addition, the mandates will have minimal safety and economic value to their members and the public at large.

Many see ELDs as an industry-wide shift to prioritize driver efficiency over longer work hours that present serious risk to everyone on the road. However, the groups want to delay the ELD mandate beyond its statutory deadline of December 2017, claiming that extra time will allow them to work with the DOT and minimize the impact of “excessive regulation.”

The speed-limiter proposal would establish different speed limits, one for cars and one for trucks. According to industry stakeholders, highway users will be negatively affected because of increased congestion nationwide. Additionally, the speed differential in states with limits above the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-proposed maximum may result in increased crashes and more hazardous driving conditions.

The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, also known as the Trucking Alliance had a different take on the regulation in a letter sent to Chao and signed by Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA, and Kevin Knight, Executive Chairman of Knight Transportation.

The missive emphatically stated that the concerns over ELDs and speed-limiters expressed by the rival collective are self-serving. Delaying or eliminating regulations are counterproductive to the DOT’s commitment to improve safety for all U.S. citizens.

Reductions in regulations combined with schisms between two groups over safety standards only increases the risk drivers face every day.