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Group Presses FMCSA to Study Whether ELDs Are Making Truckers Speed to Beat the Clock

A trucking industry trade group has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to examine the connection between the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate and the number of fatal traffic crashes caused by speeding.

The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) has issued a call for transportation department officials to look into whether there has been an uptick in speeding-related deaths involving commercial vehicles since the ELD Mandate went into effect.

The SBTC cites a Facebook poll that found that nearly 90% of respondents said “yes” to the question “Drivers: have you resorted to speeding –or observed an increase in the frequency of other drivers speeding– now that ELDs are in effect?”

In a recent news release, the SBTC asked the FMCSA to examine 2018 crash data to determine whether fatal truck crashes caused by speeding are increasing.

The SBTC pointed to 2016 traffic crash data that showed that for fatal crashes caused by speeding happened about 12 times more frequently than fatal crashes caused by drowsy driving for both passenger and commercial vehicle drivers. The ELD Mandate went into effect in December 2017 with hard enforcement in the spring of 2018.

SBTC leader James Lamb has issued a call for truckers to use Twitter to try to force the FMCSA to address the issue of speeding and ELDs.

Lamb wrote in a recent article entitled “It’s the end of the ELD Era as we know it and I feel fine…” that “FMCSA will now have to reconcile whether the 2018 fatality rates that will come out in December 2019 will actually show those 26 lives saved per year as FMCSA has speculated, or many, many more lives lost due to increased speeding by drivers trying to beat the clock because they are paid by the mile. If that is the case, then we will suggest that FMCSA will have failed in its safety mission and we will be there to say I told you so.”

The SBTC is a Washington D.C.-based non-profit with more than 14,000 transportation members that seeks to promote and protect the interests of small businesses in the transportation industry, according to the group’s website.