ELD Exemption Petition Filing Closes November 29, 2019

You may file a simple comment like:

“I support the ELD Exemption application. Please grant the exemption.”

Or, if you wish to offer FMCSA more details, you may cut and paste any or all of the following bullet points:

On October 22, 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) released new data that show that in 2018, the first full year the new ELD rule was in effect for the trucking industry to enforce commercial motor vehicle operators’ compliance with hours of service regulations, more than 2 occupants of large trucks died. Every. Single. Day. This is the highest number of such deaths since 1988, making this stat a 30-year high. We believe ELDs have caused drivers anxiety to such levels that many now recklessly speed to beat the clock. These data show FMCSA was wrong that ELDs would “save 26 lives per year.” See: https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/roadway-fatalities-2018-fars?fbclid=IwAR2ZDrHsWSW266GLubai72teXjiZsqvKGA6aUr9TVErXXVD35BxLDcJkK-k

Independent research published in 2019 shows: “…there is no evidence to suggest that the number of accidents decreased. Our results show that accident counts for small carriers did not fall relative to large carriers, and may have increased. Further, drivers for small carriers appear to have increased their frequency of unsafe driving (e.g., speeding) in response to the productivity losses caused by the (ELD) mandate, which could explain why accidents did not decrease.” See “Did the Electronic Logging Device Mandate Reduce Accidents?”: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330425892_Did_the_Electronic_Logging_Device_Mandate_Reduce_Accidents

On November 6, 2019, the Journal of Commerce reported: the number of speeding violations handed to US truck drivers jumped 7.8 percent in 2018 and the number of violations issued to truckers for driving 15 mph or more above limits rose 10.3 percent last year. See: https://www.joc.com/trucking-logistics/us-truck-drivers-racking-speeding-violations_20191106.html

Due to a lack of bona fide ELD certification program, many ELDs are not encrypted. University of Michigan researchers successfully managed to hacked into a truck and seized control of the truck’s throttle and engine brake controls. This poses nation security concerns if ELDs can be hacked into by criminals and terrorists. See: https://www.wired.com/2016/08/researchers-hack-big-rig-truck-hijack-accelerator-brakes/?fbclid=IwAR0nzCqfrGsCf6rXdjRArrkRqQwnLWz_586OFlLcjLU6ObGdIhfSah1Ksr8

USDOT is already aware of the hacking threat because it issued a joint warning with the FBI in 2016. See: https://www.ic3.gov/media/2016/160317.aspx

Many ELDs routinely malfunction and are unreliable. Case in point: the recent major crash of Omnitracs. This poses public safety concerns if drivers have not been properly trained on how to use paper logs as a backup. See: https://transportationnation.com/major-eld-failure-leaves-thousands-of-drivers-reverting-to-paper-logs/

Because FMCSA has already granted numerous exemptions allowing use of paper logs instead of ELDs such as the AG exemption, it concedes that paper logs are adequate to ensure public safety. It makes no sense that the safety of paper logs is contingent on the nature of the commodity hauled. Paper logs cannot reasonably be deemed to be safe if you haul pigs but unsafe if you haul logs. Therefore, a return to paper logs for the population that would fall under the exemption cannot reasonably be deemed unsafe or not in the public interest by FMCSA.

Given FMCSA’s previously issued exemptions, it is clear FMCSA believes ELDs are not necessary to carry out the transportation policy of section 13101.

There is no evidence that ELDs are needed to protect shippers from the abuse of market power.

Over 30,000 Americans are petitioning the White House to immediately suspend ELDs until the unintended consequences of the ELD mandate such as reckless speeding can be studied: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/immediately-suspend-electronic-logging-device-eld-rule

File YOUR public comment here:


Again, comments MUST be filed by November 29, 2019.