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FMCSA makes ELD final ruling

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced today it's Final Plan in regards to driver logs. The rule, which will take effect in two years, will require commercial drivers to switch from pencil and paper log books to electronic logging devices. 

Electronic logging devices, or ELD's monitor vehicle movement, mileage, location and engine hours automatically. This will be a long overdue change for the trucking industry, as pencil and paper logging have been the standard since 1938. "This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk." - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. 

This final ruling is estimated to have an annual net benefit of over $1 billion mainly due to reducing the amount of paperwork required by the industry. It is also estimated to save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes. 

From FMCSA: 

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 ruling also allows the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as long as they fit the technical specs, ar listed on an FMCSA website, and are certified. Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to follow this ruling. 

Read the whole story on FMCSA website: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/electronic-logg...

A copy of the ELD Final Rule announced today is available at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices-and-hours-service-supporting-documents.

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