Some states aren’t enforcing the ELD mandate yet simply because they can’t

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Updated Feb 2, 2018

Previously in this series: ELD mandate meets reality

Among states that don’t exactly fit either of the enforcement categories detailed on the electronic-logging-device early-period enforcement map at this link is Arizona, where Capt. Brian Preston said in January the adoption of the federal electronic logging device rule for interstate truckers in state code was ongoing. Thus, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which includes the state’s highway patrol, won’t be writing citations/tickets at least until that goes through — because, legally, they can’t.

While trucking is still far from paperless, log paperwork now takes a backseat for many to data from an ELD.While trucking is still far from paperless, log paperwork now takes a backseat for many to data from an ELD.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association made news last August when it petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to act against states that it said hadn’t updated state legal code sufficiently to reflect current safety regulations. As the association contends, a state’s failure to incorporate federal safety regulations makes state personnel enforcing such regulations problematic, given lack of authority. “OOIDA contends that when FMCSA amends its regulations, the states must incorporate those amendments into state law before they can enforce them,” the association said in a press release.

The petition was put forward partly within the context of the ELD mandate final rule, singling out 26 states that OOIDA said hadn’t adopted it. Part of the petition hinged on an argument that automatic regulatory adoption schemes present in most – if not all – states were invalid, which many states and FMCSA disputed. Some states, however, as is the case in Arizona, go through more cumbersome administrative or – as in California – legislative processes for adopting rules.

FMCSA has yet to issue a formal response to the petition, and OOIDA remains concerned about enforcement legality and uniformity around hours and ELDs. As part of an effort to “ensure enforcement of the mandate is consistent on a state-by-state basis,” OOIDA has established an email address – [email protected] – to which operator members can send any tickets they do receive. OOIDA’s Norita Taylor emphasizes that the association would like to see documented cases and urges operators using the address to attach copies of citations.

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