Electronic logging device rule still expected by year’s end, OMB still reviewing

eobrProgress has slowed somewhat on proposals to mandate electronic logging devices and to prohibit coercion of truckers, which had been expected to clear another rulemaking hurdle by now.

The White House Office of Management and Budget indicated Dec. 13 it had not yet cleared the ELD plan. The ELD Supplement Notice of Proposed Rulemaking finished its first step of rulemaking when the Office of Secretary of Transportation forwarded it to the White House for review Aug. 7.

Executive order places a 90-day limit on OMB review, but the DOT or the OMB can elect to extend consideration of draft regulations.

Earlier this month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicated it would publish the SNPRM Dec. 23 for a 60-day comment period.

The last highway funding authorization act directs agency officials to develop an ELD mandate that protects drivers from being pressured to work in violation of safety regulations. The devices had been called electronic onboard recorders, but the FMCSA now uses the term ELDs to reflect the act’s language.

Additionally, the SNPRM is to stipulate hours-of-service ELD performance and design standards, requirements for use and hours-of-service supporting documents.

The upcoming notice will supplement the agency’s NPRM published nearly three years ago. It is to address issues raised in the 2011 appellate court decision, which vacated the previous year’s final rule for not safeguarding against driver harassment.

The FMCSA also noted it would it would send its driver coercion proposal to the OMB by Dec. 13, then publish a March 26 NPRM with a 60-day comment period. The 2012 transportation reauthorization act prohibits carriers, shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries from pressuring drivers to work in violation of violation of safety regulations.

Before issuing an ELD final rule, the agency will review its research on driver coercion, including a 15-month survey of drivers and carriers.

In other rulemaking, the agency plans to:

  • Send a NPRM creating a drug and alcohol clearinghouse to the OMB Dec. 20. It would require carriers check this database before hiring drivers. Employers would be required to report positive test results, as well as refusals to submit to testing to the clearinghouse.

  • Provide a final rule mandating electronic stability control systems for trucks to the OST by March 21.

  • Submit a NPRM on truck speed limiters to the OST by Jan. 20.

  • Resubmit a Carrier Safety Fitness Determination NPRM to the OST by Jan 16

  • Release a NPRM amending the diabetes standard to the OST July 11.

  • Send a NPRM on enhancements to the Unified Registration System by April 7.