The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will require the use of electronic logging devices (ELD).
The four main elements of the ELD Final Rule include:
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.
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.]
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.
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.
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 anFMCSA 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.