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ELD violations won’t ding carriers’ CSA scores until April, FMCSA announces

Cathy Gautreaux, FMCSA Deputy Administrator

Cathy Gautreaux, FMCSA’s new Deputy Administrator, spoke in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday.

Carriers who are hit with citations for non-compliance with FMCSA’s electronic logging device mandate will not have points recorded against them in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability carrier scoring system, safety officials said today at a public hearing in Birmingham, Ala. It was previously announced that those drivers also will not be put out of service during that period.

The policy was mentioned during a discussion of the electronic logging device mandate at the FMCSA Southern Regional Road Show. It was the last of four regional hearings held by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

A driver found after the mandate’s implementation, Dec. 18, but before April 1, with no ELD or compliant AOBRD (automatic onboard recording device) will be cited for having no log, but it will have no impact on the associated motor carrier’s Safety Measurement System ranking, said Jon Dierberger, FMCSA field administrator.

That policy originated with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, said Anne Collins, FMCSA’s associate administrator of field operations. CVSA brings together highway safety officials from every state and trucking representatives to set enforcement policies and practices, including the out-of-service criteria.

ELD out-of-service enforcement to begin in April, citations and fines begin on Dec. 18 deadline

Inspectors will, at their discretion, begin issuing citations for non-compliance with the federal electronic logging device mandate on the Dec. 18 deadline for adoption, the ...

In August, CVSA and FMCSA said enforcement of ELD-related out of service criteria would be delayed to April 1 as a phase-in for ELDs’ implementation. Officials have also said inspectors will have some discretion as to writing citations as the mandate takes effect.

An AOBRD must have been used in the truck prior to Dec. 18 to be grandfathered in as compliant. As of Dec. 16, 2019, only ELDs that meet FMCSA criteria will be compliant.

In her first public appearance since starting her job Monday, FMCSA Deputy Administrator Cathy Gautreaux addressed the lingering opposition to the ELD mandate.

“FMCSA recognizes motor carriers, particularly independent and small motor carriers, want an extension,” Gautreaux said. As for the agency doing so on its own, “FMCSA cannot arbitrarily change the compliance date of Dec. 18.” The final rule was issued more than two years ago and the ELD mandate changes nothing about hours of service, so at this point there is no reason to change it, she said.

FMCSA has been training state-based trainers since October to have all jurisdictions ready for implementing the ELD mandate, she said.

Gautreaux also outlined three priorities for the agency: improving highway infrastructure, regulatory reform and safe deployment of autonomous vehicle systems.

Highway congestion wastes an estimated $3 billion per year in time and fuel, she said, and highway fatalities have begun to rise again. FMCSA hopes to support public-private partnerships that could help solve the problem.

CVSA out-of-service criteria relating to ELD compliance tied to duty status records requirements

Here are the ELD compliance issues CVSA will act on to place drivers out of service.

Regulatory reform entails “removing unworkable and cost-prohibitive regulations.” That has meant, as the Trump administration has dictated, removing two existing regs for every new one approved.

FMCSA has coordinated meetings for all parties interested in autonomous vehicle development, Gautreaux said. The agency is working toward “eliminating obstacles and providing opportunities” for development of “driver-assisted and automated driving systems.”

The agency is also working with carriers, troopers and others to expand awareness of human trafficking. Inspectors and truck drivers can do a lot to detect potential human trafficking and report it to law enforcement, she and others said.

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Max Heine is editorial director of Overdrive and writes regularly for the Overdrive Extra blog. A CDL holder, he joined Overdrive in 1998 after more than two decades of newspaper work. You can reach him at
mheine@randallreilly.com or 205-248-1038.

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