Bus/limo/taxi Transportation Trucking Federal agencies

FMCSA final rule to require electronic logging devices for truck and bus drivers

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truck driver getting off truck

Photo: STEFANOLUNARDI/iStockphoto

Washington – Commercial motor vehicle drivers soon will be required to use electronic logging devices instead of paper logs to document hours-of-service records, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Dec. 10.

At press time, the ELD final rule had yet to be published in the Federal Register. The rule will include a phased timeline for implementation, with the final compliance date arriving two years after the Federal Register publication date.

FMCSA estimates that the final rule will save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries per year. ELDs automatically measure the amount of time spent on the road, which can help prevent drivers from manipulating their records and driving while fatigued. The final rule also aims to protect drivers from harassment based on their ELD records.

Smartphones and other wireless devices will be permitted as ELDs as long as they meet certain technical specifications, FMCSA said.

“Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in a press release. “This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.”