Rep. Babin writes directly to President Trump asking for delay of ELDs
Friday, November 10, 2017
by THE TRUCKER STAFF
WASHINGTON — With his bill to delay implementation of the electronic logging devices caught up in the usual Congressional quagmire, Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, has appealed directly to President Donald Trump to delay the December 18 implementation date.
Babin sent a letter to President Trump urging him to issue an executive order to delay the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate set to go into effect December 18.
The text of Babin’s bill, titled the ELD Extension Act of 2017, is short, simply amending to four years from two the time between when the ELD final rule was published and the compliance date.
The bill was introduced July 18 and referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where no further action has been taken.
“Millions of hardworking American truckers, farmers and small businesses need you to take immediate and decisive action to protect them from a massive new regulation that is scheduled to go into effect just 39 days from today (November 9). I am writing on their behalf with a plan to help you do just that,” Babin told the president.
“Accordingly, I respectfully request that you issue an executive order as soon as possible, instructing the Secretary of Transportation to provide an immediate waiver for all trucking sectors and operations subject to this mandate, until such time as it can be certified that implementation will not cause economic or other harm to the millions who are subject to it.”
Babin listed three areas that should be addressed by the Trump administration before the mandate is put into effect:
Cost. Babin said the Obama administration, itself, estimated that this regulation will impose $2 billion a year in compliance costs, with a disproportionate impact on small businesses. With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, the last thing the American people "expect us to do is mandate that every hardworking truck driver in America spend thousands of dollars on the purchase, installation and monthly service fee for a government-approved tracking device,” Babn wrote.
Safety. Babin told the president that claims ELDs will make roads and drivers dramatically safer are dubious at best, based on research authorized and gathered by the Obama administration. In fact, he said some of the large trucking companies with the worst safety records on the road have already been fully utilizing ELDs in their fleet for years. "At a minimum, the reports that the Obama administration used to justify this rule warrant another review by the team you have put in place at DOT," he said.
Cybersecurity. “The ELD device required by the regulation doesn’t just sit in the cab of a truck and monitor motion,” Babin wrote. “It connects directly to the engine and onboard computer of the vehicle itself. The implications of this are particularly profound. There is simply no assurance at this time that these ELDs, which are being manufactured with components from around the world and sold by numerous companies across America, are safe from a cyberattack that could cause these trucks, many of which carry hazardous materials, to inflict terror on Americans. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association recently commissioned a study by leading security experts laying out this troubling issue, and I have enclosed a summary of it with this letter.”
Babin asked Trump to respond to the request by December 1.