December 10, 2015

ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICES TO BE REQUIRED ACROSS COMMERCIAL TRUCK AND BUS INDUSTRIES

Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify. This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.
— U.S. Transportation Secretary - Anthony Fox

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue. 

The Final Rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) will result in an annual net benefit of more than $1 billion – largely by reducing the amount of required industry paperwork.  It will also increase the efficiency of roadside law enforcement personnel in reviewing driver records.  Strict protections are included that will protect commercial drivers from harassment.  

On an annual average basis, the ELD Final Rule is estimated to save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.

An ELD automatically records driving time.  It monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information.  

This is a win for all motorists on our nation’s roadways. Employing technology to ensure that commercial drivers comply with federal hours-of-service rules will prevent crashes and save lives.
— FMCSA Acting Administrator - Scott Darling

Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can be on-duty and still drive, as well as the number of hours spent driving.  These limitations are designed to prevent truck and bus drivers from becoming fatigued while driving, and require that drivers take a work break and have a sufficient off-duty rest period before returning to on-duty status.

 The four main elements of the ELD Final Rule include: 

  1. Requiring commercial truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records to adopt ELDs within two years.  It is anticipated that approximately three million drivers will be impacted. 
  2. Strictly prohibiting commercial driver harassment.  The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs.  [A separate FMCSA rulemaking further safeguards commercial drivers from being coerced to violate federal safety regulations and provides the agency with the authority to take enforcement actions not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.]
  3. Setting technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so that manufacturers are able to produce compliant devices and systems – and purchasers are enabled to make informed decisions. 
  4. Establishing new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that will result in additional paperwork reductions.  In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.
  5. The ELD Final Rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified, and are listed on an FMCSA website.  Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating on U.S. roadways. 

    Motor carriers who have previously installed compliant Automatic On-Board Recording Devices may continue to use the devices for an additional two years beyond the compliance date.

    A copy of the ELD Final Rule announced today is available at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices-and-hours-service-supporting-documents.

    Further information, including a comprehensive, searchable list of frequently asked questions, and a calendar of upcoming free training webinars, is available https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/elds.

    ~Source: FMCSA News


March 13, 2014

U.S. Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)  announced a proposal to require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their vehicles to improve compliance with the safety rules that govern the number of hours a driver can work.

The proposed rulemaking would significantly reduce the paperwork burden associated with hours-of-service recordkeeping for interstate truck and bus drivers - the largest in the federal government following tax-related filings - and improve the quality of logbook data.

Today’s proposal will improve safety while helping businesses by cutting unnecessary paperwork - exactly the type of government streamlining President Obama called for in his State of the Union address. By leveraging innovative technology with Electronic Logging Devices, we have the opportunity to save lives and boost efficiency for both motor carriers and safety inspectors.
— Anthony Foxx, Transportation Secretary

The proposed rule will ultimately reduce hours-of-service violations by making it more difficult for drivers to misrepresent their time on logbooks and avoid detection by FMCSA and law enforcement personnel. Analysis shows it will also help reduce crashes by fatigued drivers and prevent approximately 20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year for an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million.

By implementing Electronic Logging Devices, we will advance our mission to increase safety and prevent fatigued drivers from getting behind the wheel. With broad support from safety advocates, carriers and members of Congress, we are committed to achieving this important step in the commercial bus and truck industries.
— Anne S. Ferro, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator

The Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which was sent to the Federal Register to publish on March 12, supersedes a prior 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to electronic on-board recorders. It includes provisions to:

  • Respect driver privacy by ensuring that ELD records continue to reside with the motor carriers and drivers. Electronic logs will continue to only be made available to FMCSA personnel or law enforcement during roadside inspections, compliance reviews and post-crash investigations.

  • Protect drivers from harassment through an explicit prohibition on harassment by a motor carrier owner towards a driver using information from an ELD. It will also establish a procedure for filing a harassment complaint and creates a maximum civil penalty of up to $11,000 for a motor carrier that engages in harassment of a driver that leads to an hours-of-service violation or the driver operating a vehicle when they are so fatigued or ill it compromises safety. The proposal will also ensure that drivers continue to have access to their own records and require ELDs to include a mute function to protect against disruptions during sleeper berth periods.

  • Increase efficiency for law enforcement personnel and inspectors who review driver logbooks by making it more difficult for a driver to cheat when submitting their records of duty status and ensuring the electronic logs can be displayed and reviewed electronically, or printed, with potential violations flagged.

In developing the updated proposal, FMCSA relied on input from its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, feedback from two public listening sessions and comments filed during an extended period following the 2011 proposed rule. The proposal also incorporates the mandates included in the most recent transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act, and other statutes.

 

Impaired driving, including fatigue, was listed as a factor in more than 12 percent of the 129,120 total crashes that involved large trucks or buses in 2012.

 

New federal regulations designed to improve safety for the motoring public by reducing the risk of truck driver fatigue took effect on July 1, 2013. View the July 1, 2013 news release.

 

On August 1, 2013, the Obama Administration announced another proposal to eliminate a burdensome daily paperwork requirement for professional truck drivers, daily vehicle inspection reports, and reduce costs to the industry by an estimated $1.7 billion annually while maintaining safety standards. View the August 1, 2013 news release.

 

For more information on the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Electronic Logging Devices. View Proposed Rulemaking.