Regulatory update: Speed limiter rule, Safety Fitness see more delays, e-log mandate still set for September

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Updated May 23, 2015
A Final Rule to require the use of electronic logging devices is still scheduled for Sept. 30.A Final Rule to require the use of electronic logging devices is still scheduled for Sept. 30.

A flurry of trucking regulatory activity is still expected this year, according to a monthly rulemakings update from the Department of Transportation. But some of the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s upcoming rules have again been pushed back, while some remain on track.

Here are the latest dates from the DOT report:

Electronic logging devices: A Final Rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices by truck operators is still scheduled to be published Sept. 30, according to the report. The proposed rule for the mandate was published early last year. Enforcement of the rule begins two years after its publication in the Federal Register — the date by which all drivers must begin using ELDs. The DOT report projects the rule to be sent from FMCSA to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation this month and then to be sent to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for its approval next month. Click here to read CCJ’s coverage of the proposed rule. 

Speed limiter mandate: A proposed rule to mandate the use of speed limiters on all heavy trucks is now expected to be published Aug. 27, per the report. The rule was sent to the OMB this week for approval. That’s a one-month delay from the DOT’s April report’s projection, though the rule’s expected action dates have been delayed continuously — the rule had been projected to be published as early as last summer at points. The rule, once in effect, will require the use of speed limiters on all trucks weighing more than 27,000 pounds.

Safety Fitness Determination: The agency’s rule to implement a scoring system for carriers that will yield an absolute score — rather than just the percentile rankings in the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program — has been pushed back again. It’s now slated for publication Sept. 9, another nearly month-long delay from the Aug. 17 projection in the DOT’s April report. The agency’s March report, however, had projected a mid-July publication date.

Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse: FMCSA’s rule to establish a database of drivers who have failed or refused a drug or alcohol test is still slated to be published as a Final Rule on Dec. 14. The agency published its proposed rule last year. Click here to read CCJ’s coverage of the proposed rule. 

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Entry level driver training: FMCSA is now forecasted to publish an entry-level driver training rule Oct. 15. The rule would put in place minimum requirements for entry-level drivers along with minimum testing requirements. The rule is being produced be a so-called “negotiated rulemaking” with industry stakeholders.

Prohibition of driver coercion: The publication date for a rule to impose stiffer penalties on carriers, shippers brokers and others who coerce truck operators to drive in violation of federal safety is now projected to be published Sept. 25 publication date. The rule is projected to be sent to the OMB for approval in mid-June. Click here to read CCJ’s coverage of the proposed rule. 

The DOT report also includes projections for trucking equipment rules being produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

Electronic stability control system mandate: NHTSA’s rule to require that all new trucks be equipped with stability control systems that prevent rollovers and loss of control accidents is projected to be published in mid-June. It is expected to clear the OMB June 4.

Fuel economy standards, Phase 2: The next round of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions regulations are in the works by NHTSA. The publication dates in the Federal Register do not appear to have been updated in recent months. The new standards would be for 2018 year model trucks and later.