Electronic Logging and other Rules Delayed in Latest DOT Agenda

The commercial trucking and busing industries will need to wait an additional month before laying eyes on a final rule governing electronic logging devices (ELDs), according to the latest projection from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The agency had been expecting to publish the ELD rule by the end of this month but is now projecting a publication date of October 30, 2015. The rule has been undergoing review by the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since late July. Approval from the OMB - the last step before the final ELD rule can be published - is expected by October 26, 2015.

Other significant rules facing delays include:

  • The final "anti-coercion" rule which would prohibit motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and others from forcing drivers to violate federal safety or hazardous materials regulations. The projected publication date has been delayed by one month, to October 29, 2015.
  •  Final rule that would create a central database (clearinghouse) of commercial driver's license holders who have tested positive or refused a mandatory drug or alcohol test. Publication of this rule is now expected in early March 2016, about five weeks later than planned.  
  • A proposed rule that would require the installation of speed limiting devices on heavy trucks, with publication of a draft version now expected around September 21, 2015.
  •  A proposed rule containing new standards for the training of entry-level drivers, with publication delayed one month to November 16, 2015.  

The proposed "Carrier Safety Fitness Determination" rule remains on track for publication by September 30, 2015. Once finalized, perhaps in 2016, the rule will change the way motor carriers are rated, relying more heavily on a carrier's on-road performance in place of in-house audits.
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.