Electronic logging rule still on track for September
A long-awaited rule governing electronic logging devices (ELDs) for commercial drivers remains on track for publication in late September, according to the latest projection from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The rule has been undergoing review by the White House since July 28, 2015, and is expected to be published by September 30, 2015, the FMCSA says. Approval from the Obama administration is the last step before the final ELD rule can be put into effect.
Other significant rules now undergoing White House review include:
•A rule that would require the installation of speed limiting devices on heavy trucks, with publication expected around August 20, 2015; and
•A rule that would prohibit motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and others from forcing drivers to violate the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations or Hazardous Materials Regulations, with publication slated for September 25, 2015.
The ELD rule will require most interstate commercial truck and bus drivers to begin using electronic recorders to track their hours of work, affecting more than 3 million drivers. Most drivers who currently complete paper logs will need to switch to ELDs within two years after the rule’s effective date, although exceptions will likely be granted for certain short-haul and intermittent drivers.
Drivers who currently use a compliant electronic logging system are expected to have four years to make sure their devices comply with the new ELD standards.
The FMCSA has delayed its projected publication date for another rule, one that would create a central database of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who have tested positive or refused a mandatory drug or alcohol test.
The agency had expected to publish the rule by mid-December 2015, but is now projecting a publication date of January 20, 2016.
The rule will eventually require employers of CDL holders and service agents to report positive and refusal test results into the database, and would require prospective employers to check the database before hiring a CDL driver.