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Friday, February 26, 2021

FMCSA Issues Proposed Rule for Electronic Log Books

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today a regulatory proposal requiring almost all interstate commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their vehicles to improve compliance with the driver hours of service (HOS) standards.

Under the proposal, ELDs would be mandated for all drivers currently using paper log books. The technical specifications for ELDs are defined and the supporting document requirements are clarified. In addition, FMCSA proposes procedural and technical provisions aimed at ensuring that ELDs are not used to harass vehicle operators as well as such things as grandfathering provisions for existing electronic log technology already installed by some carriers.

An ELD is defined as recording-only technology, used to track the time a commercial vehicle is operating. An ELD is integrally connected to the vehicle’s engine, uses location information, and is tamper-resistant. An ELD automatically tracks vehicle movement, but allows for annotations by both the driver and the motor carrier’s agent to explain or correct records. An ELD does not necessarily have to be a physical device — it is a technology platform, and may be portable or implemented within a device not permanently installed on a vehicle.

The proposed rule, which is expected to be published tomorrow, will be subject to a 60-day comment period, after which a final rule can be introduced. Mandatory compliance would likely occur two years after publication of a final rule.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which has supported the introduction of a universal ELD mandate in Canada, welcomed the announcement. “While it will take us some time to digest the full extent of the FMCSA proposal, we hope the announcement will focus Canadian governments’ efforts leading to a similar proposal in this country,” said CTA president and CEO David Bradley.

CTA will be conducting a complete review of the FMCSA proposals. For a copy of FMCSA’s proposal, please click here.

Courtesy of Canadian Trucking Alliance