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Another Delay in the Electronic Logging Device Ruling

Another Delay in the Electronic Logging Device Ruling

Logging driving hours has just about always been a requirement for Over-the-Road (OTR) truck drivers, but keeping manual logs makes it too easy for them to bypass the regulations; it’s as simple as a stroke of the pencil. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been attempting to find a more accurate means of tracking the hours of these drivers, but there seem to be snags in its implementation.

New Logging Methods

FMCSA's Electronic Logging Proposal

Almost a year ago the FMCSA administrator informed members of Congress that she anticipated the publication of a rule that would require a switch from manual logging to electronic logging devices within six months. At a later date, the rule was delayed until September, with later delays on November 18, December 23, January 28, and then February 27. Even though February 27 has just passed, the rule has yet to clear the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In fact, there is usually an approximate two-week delay between the date of clearance and the date of publication.

Another problem with this proposed ruling is that the Department of Transportation (DOT) made a prediction earlier in the month of February that the rule would be published on the 27th of February. They also stated the proposal would more than likely clear the Office of Management and Budget on February 14th, a date that has obviously already passed with the rule still in a pending status with the OMB.

Causes for Delay

Unfortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not have the jurisdiction to force the OMB to clear the rule, so we can’t blame them for the delay in the continued delays in the implementation of this new ruling. However, they are behind schedule in other ways, such as the MAP-21 highway funding act. The agency was directed to publish a rule within one year of its passage, and it was signed into law in July 2012.

The regulations of the new proposal could clear OMB at any time now and be only two weeks behind schedule (based on the most recently predicted publication date). However, based on past experience, it will quite possibly face another delay as it has from the very beginning.

Overall Problems

While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires over-the-road drivers, especially drivers of 18-wheeler trucks, to log their service hours, it is all too common for drivers to either falsify the log records or have a duplicate log in case they are stopped. Having limits on the number of hours a driver is allowed to have on the road without a rest period certainly has an effect on their potential income, but failure to adhere to those regulations is responsible for a good many car accidents which involve commercial trucks. It is essential to implement legislation that will reduce the potential for falsification of driver’s logs in order to improve the safety records of long-haul drivers nationwide.

The lawyers at 1-800-ATTORNEY are experienced with both local and federal laws which pertain to 18-wheeler truck accidents in Texas. If you need to speak to one of our attorneys with experience in this area, call our office 24/7 at 1-800-ATTORNEY.

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