Petition to Suspend ELDs Grows to 25,000… Here’s How it Could Actually Happen
Washington D.C. – The newly launched petition asking President Trump to “immediately suspend” the controversial electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate will soon exceed 25,000 signatures.
In only a week since its formation, the petition launched by the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) in response to new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealing trucker crash deaths rose to a 30-year high in 2018, continues to gain momentum.
The petition calls for the “White House to direct the USDOT to act on NHTSA findings and immediately suspend ELDs until unintended consequences can be studied to decide if the rule is ripe for repeal.”
According to the White House, if the petition garners at least 100,000 signatures in 30 days from the time it is created, an official written response will be sent by email within 60 days to each person who signed it.
President of the SBTC, James Lamb, tells TNN he believes the goal of reaching 100,000 signatures is attainable.
Lamb says the petition’s success so far has been due to “amazing unity” within the trucking industry.
“The truth is, we could not have done this by ourselves alone. You did this, Drivers,” he just wrote to supporters.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) was the first trucking media outlet to break the news of the petition.
Since doing so, that article (which you can read HERE) has been viewed well over 150,000 times and shared by more than 6,000 people from our Facebook page.
As word of the petition quickly began spreading throughout the industry, it wasn’t long before other trucking groups such as TruckerNation and Black Smoke Matters were supporting it also.
Lamb and the SBTC are also asking people in support of an ELD suspension to take to social media and share the petition with the hash tag #SuspendELDsNow.
WANT TO READ AND SIGN THE PETITION?
You can view and sign the petition HERE.
Could An ELD Suspension Actually Happen?
While many truckers have taken to social media this week to express their support for the petition, doubts and questions remain as to whether President Trump would or could effectively enact such a suspension.
Since the ELD mandate was authorized by Congress in 2014 in a transportation re-authorization bill known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), some are arguing that Congress must be the ones to suspend the rule.
It is certainly true that Congress has the power to suspend, grant exemptions from, or repeal the rule.
In fact, legislation to exempt small carriers with “10 or fewer commercial vehicles” from the ELD mandate (H.R. 1697) was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.
According to numerous sources with knowledge on the matter, that legislation is not gaining nearly enough support to pass.
If it did, it would likely face long odds in the U.S. Senate.
So What About President Trump Then?
Could he sign an Executive Order directing the USDOT to “act on NHTSA findings and immediately suspend ELDs until unintended consequences can be studied to decide if the rule is ripe for repeal” as the petition requests?
The answer is, yes, he could.
However, based on conversations TNN has had with legal scholars and industry stakeholders, such an action would likely be immediately challenged in the courts.
Further, most legal experts TNN has spoken with agree that such an action would likely be put on hold by the courts until the matter came to a final resolution within the judicial system.
Nevertheless, Lamb believes such an Executive Order would be on firm legal ground.
“The USDOT Secretary does in fact have the power to declare this an emergency and immediately suspend the rule under its Exemption and Waiver authority granted to it by Congress,” he asserted. “The death of more than two occupants of large trucks every single day certainly constitutes an emergency, as does a potential terrorist hacking threat.”
Lamb and others are willing to fight the legal battle which would likely ensue, so he is once again calling on those who have yet to sign the petition to do so before time runs out on this effort.
“While we have scored 25,000 after one week, we are dangerously close to just missing the 100,000 in 30 days mark. So, we now need to step up our game. We have three weeks left,” he said.
To be clear, should the petition garner its goal of 100,000 signatures in 30 days, it in no way obligates President Trump to issue such an order.
Even still, Lamb says he is hopeful it would “spring the White House into action.”
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for more on this developing story in the coming days.