On December 18, 2017, the ELD Mandate formally went into effect. This compliance deadline for the Electronic Logging Device Mandate was set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in an ongoing effort to increase safety on roads. Inspectors and roadside enforcement personnel will begin to document ELD violations and may issue citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers operating their trucks without a compliant ELD.
It is important to note that the recent mandate does not change any of the hours-of service requirements for drivers. Truckers are still required to follow the below driving limits:
- 11-Hour Limit — May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- 14-Hour Limit — May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- 60/70-Hour Limit — May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
The mandate simply enforces the use of electronic devices that connect to the driver vehicle to track hours that were previously recorded in paper log books.
“Enforcement personnel have been trained in anticipation of the ELD rule and now that it is in effect, inspectors will be verifying hours-of-service compliance by reviewing records of duty status requirements electronically” Executive Director Collin Mooney, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
For many, the mandate has been a step in the right direction for embracing technology in the 21st century. An official of the American Trucking Associations welcomed it and stated, “The benefits of this rule exceed the costs by more than $1 billion, making it a rule the ATA can firmly support and easily adopt. Today marks the start of a new era of safety and efficiency for our industry and we thank the champions in the Department of Transportation and Congress who have gotten us to this point.”
While the requirement is officially on the books and citations may be issued, law enforcement is taking a a phased-in approach for regulating. Any violations that stem from a lack of ELDs will not count against a CSA score, a metric that is used by the FMCSA to identify high-risk motor carriers by looking at the performance data of its drivers. Additionally, the lack of compliance will not cause termination of service for the trucker until April 1, 2018.