A final rule to mandate the use of electronic logging devices has been sent from the DOT to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the final approval and is set to be published on September 30th.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sent the e-log rule to the OMB on July 30th, along with a Final Rule. The Final Rule implements stiffer penalties for carriers, shippers, brokers and others who pressure drivers to not abide by federal safety standards such as hours of service limits.
The rule will go into effect two years after the publication in the Federal Register. It will require all truck drivers to keep records of duty status by using an electronic logging device.
The FMCSA included in the proposed version of the rule several provisions to mitigate the devices potential to be used by carriers to harass drivers. However, the agency also took the extra step of producing the separate Prohibition of Driver Coercion rule. Although the rule doesn’t apply exclusively to the e-log mandate, it is being advanced in tandem with the ELD rule as a way to ensure the e-log mandate does not meet the same fate as 2011’s e-log rule.
The 2011-implemented rule was tossed in court following complaints by drivers claiming carriers and shippers were using the devices to coerce them to operate outside of federal safety rules.
The coercion rule will set a system for drivers where they can file complaints with the FMCSA over claims of coercion or harassment. With this rule, carriers, shippers and brokers would face up to $11,000 in fines for threatening drivers with loss of work or other economic opportunities for refusing to operate a CMV under circumstances that those entities knew or have known would require a driver to violate FMCSA’s hour limits, drug and alcohol testing rules or hazmat regulations, among other rules.
To read an in-depth coverage of this proposed rule click here.