Members of “ELD or Me”, the anti-ELD mandate group, have arrived in the Washington D.C. area for planned protest activities taking place this week.
Group members set up shop at the Doswell Truck Stop in Doswell, Va. There were a couple dozen truckers there early today, and they plan to roll into D.C. from the Doswell location. ELD or Me creator Tony Justice, who is also a trucker and singer-songwriter, is expected to arrive late this evening after a delay. He is bringing passenger vans to shuttle drivers from Doswell to downtown D.C. for the demonstration.
One of the protesters today was longtime owner-operator Riley Clay from Huntington, W.Va. He runs flatbed leased to Cardinal Transport out of Coal City, Ill. Clay runs late-model equipment, and his carrier’s been pressuring him and others leased to get on ELDs since early in the summer. “I’m one of the holdouts,” he says. He’s not sure what he’ll do as yet, but stresses to those outside the industry that they might view the ELD mandate as a slippery slope. “Where’s it stop?” he asks. What if this trickles down?
Anybody can write a bill, after all, he notes. “What’s to stop them from requiring an inward-facing camera in your car, a breathalyzer in your car, installed at your expense? How about some kind of device” to block your data and turn your phone into a hands-free-call-only device when your vehicle is rolling. “I could write a bill to do all that,” Clay says, “and I could save a lot more than 26 lives a year,” a reference to the estimated annual number of lives to be saved as a result of the ELD mandate in the FMCSA’s final rule.