In a blog post published on the website of Overdrive sister fleet magazine CCJ, Equipment Editor Jack Roberts addressed Overdrive‘s survey on drivers and owner-operators’ plans relative to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, currently under a public comment period. As Roberts noted, the survey showed “a whopping 71 percent of independent [owner-operators and small fleet owners] responding to the survey said they’d fold up their tents and quit … if an ELD mandate became law.”
Polling, Roberts wrote, “can be notoriously tricky to get right, as Fox News discovered on Election Night back in 2012. Which is why I don’t believe for one minute that 71 percent of all the owner-operators on the road today are going to say, ‘Screw it!’ and quit if an ELD mandate becomes law. It’s one thing to answer a few questions on a survey and say you’ll quit. It’s another thing to think about feeding your family, making the rent and keeping the lights on when push comes to shove. And besides, in case you haven’t heard, jobs are still hard to come by in this economy.”
Roberts went on to address the issue that “cuts to the core of the opposition to ELDs,” he wrote: Privacy. “Americans are a free people increasingly surrounded by a growing Surveillance State. Technology has made it easier than ever before to track the movements and activities of people as they go through all aspects of their lives. Sometimes this is a good thing: The identification and capture of the Boston Marathon bombers last year springs to mind.” Sometimes not.