The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a petition with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in August asking it to delay the implementation of the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate that goes into effect Dec. 18, contending that “26 states have not yet incorporated an electronic logging regulation into state law and are not authorized to enforce the rule until they do so.’’
OOIDA said that it “supports a proposed delay to the mandate due to a growing number of reasons, including the lack of preparedness’’ of law enforcement agencies. The association’s petition says that more than 20 states are “years behind in adopting amendments and additions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) into state law.”
In addition, OOIDA claimed in a press release that to qualify for federal grants under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, states are required to incorporate the FMCSRs or their equivalent into state law.
“In 2016, 95 percent of motor carrier and driver enforcement violations were issued by MCSAP states,’’ the association noted.
The petition also states that “serious legal problems arise because states are attempting to enforce federal safety standards that have not been made part of state law. OOIDA contends that when FMCSA amends its regulations, the states must incorporate those amendments into state law before they can enforce them.’’
Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s executive vice president, said: “We are concerned about numerous states issuing citations for the violation of non-existent state laws.’’
OOIDA noted, for example, that Delaware has not updated its incorporation of the FMCSRs since 2006; Arizona last updated its in 2012, and Kansas did so only in 2013.
“That means that new regulations and amendments to old regulations promulgated by FMCSA since the last incorporation date for these states are not part of state law,’’ Spencer said.
In its news release, OOIDA also referenced the action taken earlier this week by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). The alliance sees no reason to delay the December start date for the electronic logging device mandate, but its members will delay implementing out-of-service criteria related to ELDs until April 1, 2018. In addition, CVSA said each jurisdiction will have discretion as to whether it actually issues citations in the beginning. However, OOIDA apparently is not satisfied with that approach.
“We know that state enforcement officers lack the training and equipment to operate in an ELD environment,’’ Spencer said. “This lack of preparedness should come as no surprise given that half the states have not even adopted FMCSA’s ill-conceived ELD rule into state law.
“No state law enforcement agency should be implementing the ELD mandate until they actually adopt the mandate into state law and train and equip their enforcement personnel to enforce it properly.’’
Adrienne Gildea, CVSA’s deputy executive director, said it is too early for her group to comment on the OOIDA petition.
“We’ve only just received it ourselves and are currently in the process of gathering the necessary information in order to effectively respond to OOIDA’s assessment,’’ she said.