ELD Proposed Rulemaking
FMCSA Releases Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Proposed Rule
On Thursday, March 13th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released their supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) on Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and Hours of Service (HOS) Supporting Documents. The Agency proposes amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to establish: 1) minimum performance and design standards for HOS ELDs; 2) requirements for the mandatory use of these devices by drivers currently required to prepare HOS records of duty status (RODS); 3) requirements concerning HOS supporting documents; and 4) measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs. The Agency estimates that this proposed rule could save as many as 24 lives per year.
The ELD mandate will apply to all drivers who are currently required to keep paper records or duty status. Specifically, drivers who are required to keep records of duty status in eight or more days out of every 30 days must use an ELD. This SNPRM examines four options for mandatory use:
- Option 1: ELDs are mandated for all CMV operations subject to 49 CFR part 395
- Option 2: ELDs are mandated for all CMV operations where the driver is required to complete RODS under 49 CFR 395.8
- Option 3: ELDs are mandated for all CMV operations subject to 49 CFR part 395, and the ELD is required to include or be able to be connected to a printer and print RODS
- Option 4: ELDs are mandated for all CMV operations where the driver is required to complete RODS under 49 CFR 395.8, and the ELD is required to include or be able to be connected to a printer and print RODS
The new rule requires ELDs to be integrated with the truck’s engine and to use location information. They also must be tamper-resistant. The devices will track the truck’s movement but can allow for annotations by both drivers and carriers to correct for potential errors.
Through this rule, the Agency will also be seeking comments on its analysis of the ELD and Fleet Managements Strategies (FMS) (roughly $495 per CMV cost, total industry $955.7 million). Additionally, the SNPRM proposes changes to the HOS supporting document requirements, recognizing that the ELD records serve as the most robust form of documentation for on-duty driving periods. FMCSA is neither increasing or decreasing the burden associated with supporting documents.
The proposed changes are expected to improve the quality and usefulness of the supporting documents retained, and would consequently increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Agency’s review of a motor carrier’s HOS records during on-site compliance reviews, thereby increasing its ability to detect HOS rules violations.
Furthermore, the Agency proposes both procedural and technical provisions aimed at protecting the CMV operators from harassment involving ELDs or connected technology. These would include:
- driver’s access to own records,
- explicit prohibition on harassment,
- compliant procedures,
- enhanced penalties to deter harassment,
- mute function,
- edit rights,
- tracking vehicle location, and
- FMCSRs enforcement proceedings.
There is mention of the prohibition of coercion language in MAP-21, specifically aimed at coercing drivers into falsely certifying ELD records. “The proposed coercion rule will address shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries as well as motor carriers; and its focus is on the loss or potential loss of future business or work.” As a reminder, the coercion rulemaking is currently scheduled to be released in April 2014.
Comments to the SNPRM must be received no later than 60 days after publishing in the Federal Register. Motor carriers would have 2 years after the publishing of the Final Rule to install or use an ELD, and carriers currently utilizing an automatic onboard recording device, will have an additional two years to become compliant.
To view the SNPRM online, please visit the FMCSA website.
If you have any questions, contact Chris Burroughs (firstname.lastname@example.org, 703.299.5705).