FMCSA eyes final rule on e-logs for truckers by September 2015

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 11/21/2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a timeline for a final rule requiring truckers to use electronic logging devices to record their hours of service. The administration announced that it intends to submit a final rule to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation in May 2015 and publish the rule by the end of September 2015.

FMCSA continues to say its rule would establish four things:

minimum performance and design standards for hours-of-service (HOS) electronic logging devices (ELDs);
requirements for the mandatory use of these devices by drivers currently required to prepare HOS records of duty status (RODS);
requirements concerning HOS supporting documents; and
measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs.

The issue of ELDs and driver harassment by motor carriers was the subject of a recent third-party survey commissioned by the administration.

The survey showed that harassment by carriers was commonplace, but did not tie the harassment to the use of electronic logs. Read more about the survey here, and more about OOIDA’s response to the survey here.

FMCSA has been back at the drawing board since losing a federal court challenge brought by OOIDA in 2011 – a ruling that said ELDs could be used by motor carriers to harass drivers. The ruling forced the FMCSA to vacate its initial final rule on electronic logs.

Congress passed a law in 2012 that required the FMCSA to bring a new final rule, one which satisfies that ELDs cannot be used to harass drivers, by October 2013. The administration’s 2015 timeline is running about two years behind that.

OOIDA vows to continue fighting against the mandatory use of electronic logs, saying they will make no more differences in safety than paper logs and may actually lead to increased fatigue and driver harassment on the highways.

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