"FMCSA Finally Mandates ELD Requirement"
Article published on Thursday, March 13, 2014
by Eric Belk; Find Eric on Google+.
The FMCSA has released a revised proposal containing a mandate
requiring electronic logging devices to be placed in all interstate
commercial buses and trucks.
The proposal is attached to an already existing proposal from February of 2011-- the FMCSA halted work on the original proposal in 2012 when a federal judge ruled that the regulation mandating electronic logging devices did not keep the devices from being used to harass drivers. The purpose of the revised proposal is to mitigate the paperwork required of carriers, implement hours-of-service regulations, and protect drivers from harassment.
The new proposal outlines the technical requirements for ELD as well as laying out a mandate for drivers using record of duty status. The proposal also includes mechanisms to ensure that drivers are not harassed, including requiring carriers to allow drivers access to their logs as well as requiring all ELDs to have mute functionality while drivers are sleeping. Companies that fail to comply with these regulations could face fines of up to $11,000.
The FMCSA has touted the security included in the proposal, stating that electronic logs would only be released to law enforcement and FMCSA officials in the case of crash investigations, roadside inspections, and compliance reviews.
According to the FMCSA, the new regulations could save up to 20 lives per year in addition to preventing 434 injuries, saving the country an estimated $394.8 million dollars per year.
The next step for the proposal includes publishing it in the Federal Register. From there the public has 60 days to comment on the proposal before it is considered by the agency. Should the agency approve the proposal, the requirement would not kick in for another two years. During that time carriers would be allowed to continue operations as normal until two years after the proposal is approved.