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Scenes from the West Coast protest: Truck drivers stand against ELDs in Fresno, Bakersfield


Local truck drivers came together in Fresno, California on Thursday, in front of Fresno’s City Hall, to protest the government’s mandate to use ELDs in commercial trucks.

The Fresno Bee reported, about 300 long haul truck driver held a 3-hour long protest in response to the impending doom ELDs are expected bring to the trucking industry this December.

Truck driver Sonu Babbar commented on the protest saying, “Machine is made for man– a man is not made for a machine. You cannot tell the machine to operate the man.”

Truck drivers across the nation are outraged against the federal government trying to mandate electronic logging devices to record hours of service while on the road. Most truck drivers think that such a logging system encroaches on the truck driver’s freedom, privacy, and driving safety.

Starting on December 18th, all trucks with be required to use electronic devices to log hours. The paper and pen/pencil log books that originated in the 1930’s will no longer be permitted for use.

With the implementation of ELDs, drivers are allowed 14 hours to work, but can drive no more than 11 hours. Also, they must take a break after driving for 8 hours.

With the electronic logging device, if the 14 hours are up, a trucker who is behind schedule must stop even if he has not driven a full 11 hours.

Further, with such an extreme lack of safe truck parking, stopping at the required time by ELDs could mean unsafe conditions for the truck driver.

The goal of the federal government’s new mandate is to more heavily regulate hours of service to reduce the risk of devastating crashes.

Some concerns with the ELD is that it does not take into account rest stops, loading and unloading times, and traffic conditions. Regardless of unexpected interruptions or conditions, the ELD clock will keep ticking.

Truck driver Adam Atwal told ABC 30, “Loads will be late prices will go up consumers will have to pay more…it’ll take more trucks to deliver the same amount of loads.”

“I think they’ll be a lot more wrecks because people will be forced to act like machines…they’ll have to go when the log book says they’re on otherwise they’re just wasting time. They have to stop on the side of the road they have to stop on ramps-driver’s safety is a big concern.”

A Central Valley Councilmember, Clint Olivier, commented saying, “If they stop because they’re out of gas or if they stop because they’re under a mountain of federal regulations we stop. Families and neighbors here in Fresno will stop.”

Olivier also said, he knows very little about the daily struggles of truckers but knows federal overreach when he sees it and supports their protest, according to The Fresno Bee.

This rally of enraged truck drivers is showing their support for other truck drivers that plan to demonstrate their ELD opposition in Washington this week.

This week, numerous truckers are taking part in protest activities in Washington, D.C. and throughout the U.S. as they ask lawmakers to take a stand against overregulation of the trucking industry. Read more about it here.

More than 30 organizations unite to oppose ELD Mandate. Read more here.

House rejects one attempt to postpone ELD Mandate. Read more here.


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