ExpressIFTA Blog

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Trucking News: Electronic Logging Device Proposal Is Welcomed By The ATA

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) officials have welcomed the proposal by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to mandate the use of electronic logging devices in commercial trucks as a potential improvement for highway safety.

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves says, "ATA supports FMCSA's efforts to mandate these devices in commercial vehicles as a way to improve safety and compliance in the trucking industry and to level the playing field with thousands for fleets that have already voluntarily moved to this technology.

What is the FMCSA's proposal?

The FMCSA has proposed a rule to require interstate drivers to use Electronic Logging Devices in their trucks in order to 'improve compliance with the safety rules that govern the number of hours a driver can work.' The agency has said the rule would 'significantly reduce the burden of paperwork' that is associated with paper logs.

In addition, the FMCSA says the rule would reduce HOS violations by making it more difficult for drivers to 'misrepresent their time on logbooks.'

The proposed rule was sent to the Federal Register to publish on March 12.

According to the FMCSA, 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.

 The ATA does have a few concerns with some details relating to supporting document retention requirements and grandfathering of existing devices, among others, and will address those with FMCSA going forward. The FMCSA's proposal is driven by safety for truck drivers, and to a more efficient way to document logs.

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