Well the FMCSA and its three ring circus led by none other than Anne Ferro are gearing up up for their winter performances and their latest act consists of …..yes you guessed it, another round of proposals to make electronic on board recorders. Some of you know them as an EOBR or simply as an electronic logging device or EOLD, I think the latest official name change was to ELD in an attempt to make it easier for the FMCSA staff to remember it as a four letter word is something they have been trained to ignore as they hear it so often from the people they turn their enforcement loose on.
No matter what you want to call it the goal remains the same. The FMCSA and Anne Ferro want you to be monitored 24 hours a day 7days a week because according to them we are all dishonest people salivating at the chance to violate an Hours of Service regulation…….OK, they didn’t actually say that. The truth is that they have stated that having an electronic box tell us when to drive and when to stop will in fact make us safer drivers and that in the best interest of safety this type of device should be required Federal standards. Well that is of course except for the ones that Anne Ferro and her staff are bound to extend an exemption to if they complain enough like they did regarding the new HOS rules.
The FMCSA’s ELD Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was already presented to the White House and the FMCSA stated that it expects it to clear the Office of Management and Budget allowing the FMCSA to publish it on November 18th, 2013 and make it available for public comment until January 20th, 2014. There is also a plan regarding driver coercion and how it can be accomplished using an electronic monitoring device. Essentially it refers to carriers harassing and coercing drivers to continue driving using acquired data from an electronic device. A NPRM regarding coercion is expected to be published by January 9th, 2014 and available for public comment until March 13th, 2014. What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? it means the FMCSA is going to publish their proposals and inform everyone that they are making more regulations and they want you to be monitored, it also means they are going to allow a public comment period on the issues to pay lip service to and defend their stance that they “listen to the people”.
Let’s face the facts here, they don’t care about your feedback and they don’t care if you like the new regulations or not or if it costs you your career. the FMCSA looks at “right now” and they could care less about the impact on the future of professional drivers or even that of the nation itself. Their sole purpose at this point is to appease safety lobbyists who contribute millions of dollars to political campaigns, they then make new rules to accomplish that goal while also generating more revenue for a government that is already famous for overspending. The real kick in the pants about the whole mess is that they then pass it off to the general public in the best interest of safety. I’m sorry if other outlets are not going to cut to the chase and tell you the truth of the matter but I have no interest in beating around the bush. The FMCSA is an agency that has a long standing history of using less than honorable tactics of enforcement and rule-making, the head of the agency was caught under oath lying to congress and they have the audacity to want to regulate professional drivers because they feel drivers are not to be trusted.
There is an old story about the pot and the kettle…….sound familiar?