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FMCSA Electronic Logging Proposal Draws Support

Volume 2, Issue 7
April 15th, 2014
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Most trucking industry groups have expressed support for the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s proposal to require Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on interstate trucks.

American Trucking Associations and other groups expressed its support for the proposal. ATA backed earlier attempts to mandate Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) on trucks, but a federal court struck down FMCSA’s EOBR proposal in 2011, citing privacy concerns.

The new devices, however, would only be required to measure and store information directly related to the enforcement of federal hours-of-service regulations for interstate truck drivers.

FMCSA added eight provisions to its proposal designed to prevent fleet management from using the devices to harass drivers. In addition, because the new devices will be simpler, it is believed that the cost will not be too high for adoption by small fleets.

The new devices would only be required on trucks two years after adoption of the final rule. Fleets that already use EOBRs would be allowed to continue to do so.

In fact, some suppliers have said that they should be able to modify currently available equipment by simply making some changes to the software.

“By leveraging innovative technology with Electronic Logging Devices, we have the opportunity to save lives and boost efficiency for both motor carriers and safety inspectors,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said.

ATA President Bill Graves commented: “ATA supports FMCSA’s efforts to mandate these devices in commercial vehicles as a way to improve safety and compliance in the trucking industry and to level the playing field with thousands for fleets that have already voluntarily moved to this technology.”

In comments already submitted many owner- operators, already unhappy over the more restrictive HOS regulations FMCSA began enforcing last year, have expressed opposition, although some believe ELDs will boost compensation and reduce pressure by shippers on drivers to break the law.

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