Semi Truck Protest Slows Highway 99, Interstate 5 Traffic

YUBA CITY -- Truck drivers staged a protest of new regulations Friday along Highway 99, south of Yuba City, and Interstate 5 traffic in Downtown Sacramento.

The protest is making its way south to Fresno, organizers said. More than 300 drivers met at the Sikh Temple of Yuba City Friday morning then proceeded to city hall before making their way to the highway.

The line of semi trucks on the road caused serious traffic backup.

Drivers nationwide were protesting new regulations requiring an Electronic Logging Device to be synced to trucks' engines. The device would automatically record the driver's route and eliminate the need for handwritten log books.

The idea is that the device would allow fleet managers to monitor drivers.

Supporters of the rule say it prevents drivers from cheating on log books.

Critics argue the device, which will cost an average of $500, is expensive and isn't something smaller companies can afford. They also say it violates truck drivers' privacy and trust, and fosters carrier harassment over driving hours.

All trucking companies are required to have the devices installed by December 2019.

The California Trucking Association issued a statement about the protest Friday afternoon:

“CTA is not associated with today’s protest. We support truckers’ rights to express their opinions on the upcoming implementation of the federal Electronic Logging Device mandate, including their right to protest. We do not condone unsafe and illegal activities, including creating dangerous driving conditions by impeding traffic on busy freeways.”

CHP also issued a statement Friday, saying they were keeping an eye on the protest and would "take appropriate enforcement action when necessary:"

"A large group of big rig drivers are currently on I-5 south of the Sacramento area headed towards Fresno, with what's being called a 'rolling protest.' Although the CHP supports the right to assemble and or protest, doing so in a manner that blocks traffic, slows the response of emergency vehicles, and people traveling throughout the State, is against the law. The CHP is monitoring the situation and taking appropriate enforcement action when necessary."