Truck drivers circle Capitol, honk during protest

Truckers want to hit the brakes on mandate they say will make roads less safe, drive up prices

Truck drivers from across the state gathered in Lansing Monday speaking out against a new rule, they say, would make our roadways more unsafe.

There were demonstrations across the nation and in Kansas, as truckers protested a federal mandate becoming effective later this month.

A small group of drivers gathered early at the downtown Travel Centers of America location in Nashville, Tenn., just across the Cumberland River from the Tennessee state capitol building. Truck driver, Harvinder Singh said, "I am not good in computers either, so how am I going to put in my information there is no classes or institution. From the moment we start driving till it runs out, that keeps going", said Jeremy Muxlow, a local truck driver.

He also believes it could affect the livestock industry. She says the ELDs take away a driver's flexibility in managing their daily work hours.

Uncle Sam says it's about safety, but drivers against it say it's taking away their privacy, and making it more hard to do their jobs. The protests gained national attention from the news media, with dozens of local news stations coming out to talk to drivers and to take photos and videos of the protests.

"Instead of letting a driver safely do what they need to do to get the job done, they can call them because they see they are not moving", said Mike Landis of Lititz.

The ELD mandate is scheduled to go into effect on December 18.

Truckers say these devices are also costly for them, because they'll have to pay a monthly monitoring fee as well, on top of purchasing the device itself which could be upwards of $400 or more. "If anything, it's going to be just the opposite [because] I'm going to feel the pressure of that clock". In the interviews, Hasner repeated the laundry list of concerns familiar to truckers at odds with the mandate, including the added demands it puts on drivers.

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Further, several experienced drivers who said they had clean driving records cited FMCSA statistics showing the ELDs already installed in rigs owned by large trucking companies have not prevented crashes or fatalities from occurring. "That's pressure - a lot of pressure". "But we should not be forced to have it", Pinheiro said.

Valenti agrees. "I am a Trump supporter, but I kind of feel he has turned his back on the people who helped him get into the office". But other drivers don't think that is possible.

Darrell and Audrey Wright own a trucking company based out of Hollywood in Jackson County. "I've been running paper logs for 15 years", said Jason King. The hours of service rules have not changed due to the ELD mandate. "They don't know whats going on out here".

"Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify", said former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at that time.

"With these new log books, it's not as much time", he said.

"I don't like them".

Shourd said having mandated ELDs impacts the freedom truckers have on the road and increases costs.

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