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Truckers Participate In 'Slow Roll' Protest On I-465


The drivers cruised at slow 45 mph on I-465. (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

Dozens of trucks clogged up Interstate 465 Thursday by cruising at 45 mile per hour for what organizers call a “slow roll.” 

They were protesting government regulations that dictate how long truck drivers can spend behind the wheel, and the devices used to enforce those rules.

The federal government started requiring drivers to use electronic logging devices, or ELDs, in their trucks a couple years ago. They use GPS data to track everything from a driver's mileage to how long they’re behind the wheel.

Mike Landis is CEO of the United States Transportation Alliance. He says, as an independent driver with a good safety record, he shouldn’t have to use the device.

"What they are saying is because we drive trucks we are lesser of an American citizen and they can track us," Landis says. "I don’t really feel that that’s right, especially when most of us have never done anything wrong to warrant tracking like that." 

But Gary Langston, President of the Indiana Motor Truck Association, says the rules and the ELD’s improve accuracy and cut down on the paperwork drivers have to file.

"It didn’t change anything to do with hours of service if you were able to legally complete your daily run on paper, then when going to electronic logs changed nothing.”

Drivers say they want more flexibility in their hours of service, but the devices make that hard. Some are planning to participate in a driver strike in April.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said in a statement the truckers' concerns are legitimate. 

"Everyone supports the idea of creating a safer work environment for drivers," he said. "Everyone sees the logic in making it easier and faster to accurately track, manage and share data related to driving hours. I still believe, however, that the current ELD requirements were rushed through the approval process without sufficient attention to their expense and practical workability."

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