FMCSA issues guidance on HOS tracking technology

June 17, 2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on June 10 issued regulatory guidance and policy changes on technology-generated records used to track hours-of-service compliance.

The guidance and policy changes relate to FMCSA's authority to access data from commercial motor vehicle drivers' electronic mobile communication/tracking technology, or electronic onboard monitors, which are used to assess compliance with HOS regulations. In a June 10 Federal Register notice (.pdf file), FMCSA addressed concerns that it would use the records solely for enforcement, as well as confusion about requirements for retaining and producing documents upon demand. The agency stressed that the new policy is intended to be used by enforcement personnel as guidance in making enforcement decisions, and is not intended to alter a motor carrier's duty to ensure its employees and agents are complying with applicable regulations.

The changes are being made in anticipation of a notice of proposed rulemaking for HOS, slated to be issued before the year's end.