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12/3/2012 8:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Opinion: FMCSA Must Move Forward on E-Logging Rule

By Bill Graves

President and CEO

American Trucking Associations

This Opinion piece appears in the Dec. 3 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

With the dust settling from last month’s elections — and the voters returning to Washington a still-divided government — it is going to be incumbent upon our leaders to find areas of broad agreement to build upon if we are going to move forward as a nation.

While we’ll hear a lot about taxes and spending and a “fiscal cliff” — all important matters, to be sure — we shouldn’t lose sight of smaller but no less important issues. One such issue where the federal government could step up is in the area of highway safety and, specifically, electronic logging.

This summer, a strange and varied coalition came together to press Congress to require that trucks be outfitted with this potentially game-changing technology.

ATA, with support from the commercial motor vehicle enforcement community, the National Transportation Safety Board, AAA, the Teamsters, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, along with other, smaller, industry groups, were successful in getting a mandate written into the highway bill.

Getting this provision into such an important piece of legislation was a great victory, and one that I and other safety leaders in Washington are quite proud of. However, the victory is a hollow one until the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration follows the law and does what Congress has tasked it to do.

There are certainly issues to be resolved in getting to a final regulation requiring these devices. For example, as a community we need to determine the best ways to share data from the device to the law enforcement community for oversight purposes. We also need to work through other technical issues outlined in the new law.

Compared with Superstorm Sandy and fiscal-cliff concerns, however, these are easy.

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