Federal agencies Hours of service Bus/limo/taxi Trucking

Electronic logging device rule coming by end of fiscal year, FMCSA official says


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Washington – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration intends to publish a final rule regarding electronic logging devices by Sept. 30, according to the agency’s acting chief.

FMCSA Acting Administrator T.F. Scott Darling III noted the timeline on March 4 while testifying before the Senate Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee. Darling’s testimony contrasted with a recent report in which FMCSA said publication of a final rule was expected to be delayed by about six weeks until Nov. 9.

“We will get that final rule out and published by the end of this fiscal year,” Darling said. The federal government’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

FMCSA plans to require commercial motor vehicle drivers to use ELDs (previously referred to as electronic onboard recorders) to ensure drivers comply with hours-of-service regulations. Such a move would reduce fatigued driving and improve safety, the agency states. In Darling’s written statement to the subcommittee, he said the devices could prevent about 1,400 crashes, 20 fatalities and more than 400 injuries every year.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said Congress sought an ELD rule by October 2013 – almost a year and a half ago.

“Why is this important safety rule so far behind?” Booker said.

Darling said the agency is working hard to address the issue. “It will help with understanding hours of service,” he said. “We have made it a priority in my agency.”