2014 US Trucking News – FMCSA Releases Proposed ELD Rule
The thoroughly discussed and much-awaited plan to involve interstate commercial truck and bus companies to start using electronic logging devices in their vehicles was issued Thursday morning, March 13 2014.
In issuing the plan, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that the planned rule would perk up compliance with the safety laws that govern the amount of hours a truck driver can work. The FMCSA says that the planned rulemaking would greatly lessen the paperwork load that is connected with the Hours of Service recordkeeping for interstate truck and bus drivers – The biggest in the federal government, next to filings related to tax – And develop the quality of logbook data.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says in a prepared statement, that the current plan will improve safety while helping establishments by reducing the amount of pointless paperwork, which is precisely the type of government streamlining effort President Obama called for in his State of the Union address. He states that by leveraging pioneering technology with Electronic Logging Devices, they have the chance to save lives and enhance efficiency for safety inspectors and motor carriers alike.
The planned rule will eventually lessen the amount of HOS violations by making it harder for drivers to forge their time on logbooks, and evade detection by the FMCSA and law enforcement personnel. The FMCSA adds that analysis shows it will also lessen the amount of crashes by tired drivers, and avert roughly 20 fatalities and 434 injuries every year, for a yearly safety benefit of $394.8 million.
FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro says that by executing electronic logging devices, they will proceed with their mission to boost safety and stop exhausted drivers from getting behind their vehicles. With huge support from safety advocates, carriers, and Congress members, they are devoted to achieving this necessary step in the commercial bus and truck industries.
The Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which was brought to the Federal Register and to be published on March 12, replaces a previous 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking associated to economic on-board recorders.
The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) which filed a lawsuit, forcing the FMCSA to re-examine and revise their proposals with safeguards to stop the harassment of drivers, was quick to answer.
OOIDA states that the Congress and the courts have brought the standard of necessities high for FMCSA. The agency should discuss the severe safety problems of how EOBRs are used to pester and pressurize truck drivers into continuing to drive, despite of driving conditions, such as poor weather, heavy traffic, or if the driver is simply too exhausted to drive. Also, there is no known gadget that has the ability of routinely recording a driver’s duty status throughout a work day, not just when they are driving. This is also a necessity from the Congress.
The OOIDA plans to observe the plan in detail, to see how the agency has tried to meet these necessities, particularly considering that a significant study on the harassment issue is still listed as ‘ongoing’ on the FMCSA’s website.
The issue of cost to truckers and what certain technical requirements are called for, especially when the FMCSA still has to show any direct safety advantage between the use of ELD/EOBR and reduced crashes, will be an important focal point of their review of the plan. This is the first stage in the rigid procedure for the agency’s newest effort to create a rule on this topic, and OOIDA, as well as small business truckers, will definitely be weighing in and giving their comments.
The planned rule contains requirements to:
Respect the privacy of drivers by making sure that ELD records will keep on residing with the motor carriers and their drivers. Electronic logs will continue to only be made available to FMCSA staff and law enforcement while conducting roadside inspections, obedience reviews, and post-crash examinations.
Protect drivers from being harassed through a strong prevention on harassment by a motor carrier owner towards a driver by using information from an ELD. This will also create a process for filing a harassment complaint, and will generate a maximum civil punishment of up to $11,000 for a motor carrier that involves in harassment of a driver that directs to a violation of the HOS, or the driver operating a vehicle when they are extremely tired or sick, it will endanger their safety. The plan will also make sure that drivers will continue to gain access to their own records and need ELDs to contain a mute function to prevent against disturbance during sleeper berth periods.
Boost the efficiency for law enforcement staff and inspectors who evaluate driver logbooks by making it more complicated for a driver to cheat when offering their records of duty status and making sure that the electronic logs can be exhibited and evaluated electronically, or printed with possible violations flagged.
In developing the reorganized plan, the FMCSA says that it depended on contributions from their Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, criticism from two sessions of public listening, and observations filed during an extended period after the 2011 planned rule. The plan also contains the mandates that were included in the latest transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act, and other statutes.
Impaired driving, which includes exhaustion, was enumerated as a factor in more than 12 percent of the 129,120 total crashes concerning huge trucks or buses in 2012.
On August 13 2013, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx issued a plan to reduce a troublesome daily paperwork condition for expert truck drivers, which will lessen the costs to the industry by an estimated $1.7 billion annually while still keeping the Department’s standards of high safety.
Secretary Foxx says that President Obama has confronted his administration to look for ways to reduce waste and red tape, a challenge he promised to meet during his confirmation hearing. With today’s plan, they are bringing on that promise, saving establishments billions of dollars while keeping their dedication to safety. It’s the type of win-win solution which he wishes that their Department will continue to look over the coming months.