ELD Enforcement: Fines and Citations Start Dec 18th, Out-of-Service Start April 2018
Motor carriers have had two full years to prepare for the 2015 final rule of the federal Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate slated to take effect December 18th, 2017. Now, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) says it is ready to begin enforcement of the rule, through a phased-in approach.
Inspectors will begin issuing citations immediately for non-compliance, at their discretion, with the ELD mandate however inspectors will not place vehicles out-of-service for ELD violations until April 1st, 2018.
FMCSA pointed out that this will not affect the adoption date of automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) if they want to extend their ELD compliance to December 2019.
FMCSA spokesperson Duane DeBruyne said, “After Dec. 18, 2017, if you don’t have an AOBRD or ELD the violation will be cited, and a driver could be fined, but they won’t be put out of service. Companies that continually violate the rule could be subject to federal investigation as well.”
CVSA’s announcement said this phased-in approach “will provide the motor carrier industry, shippers and roadside enforcement community with time to adjust to the new requirement before vehicles are placed out of service for ELD violations.”
Should a driver claim an exemption at roadside such as not operating more than eight days in a thirty-day period beyond the short-haul 100/150 air mail radius or are using an engine built in 2000 or older, inspectors will try to verify the claim. If they suspect a driver is not using an ELD and should be but can’t be determined at roadside, inspectors are likely to give the operator a pass but then request with FMCSA to follow up to verify the claim. The follow up process could prompt a visit by an auditor checking all carrier records.
Below is a list of violations related to the ELD Mandate:
- If a driver is required to have an electronic logging device and the vehicle is not equipped with an electronic logging device (or an automatic on-board recording device until December 17, 2019), the driver is considered to have no record of duty status.
- If a driver/carrier is using an electronic logging device that is not authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration per 395.22(a), the driver/carrier is considered to have no record of duty status.
- If a driver is unable to produce or transfer the data from an automatic on-board recording device or electronic logging device to an authorized safety official as required by 395.15(b) or 395.24(d), the driver is considered to have no record of duty status.
- If a driver indicates use of a special driving category as defined by 395.28(a) when not involved in that activity, the driver’s log is considered to be false.
- If a driver with a malfunctioning automatic on-board recording device or electronic logging device fails to reconstruct logs for the current twenty-four (24)-hour period and the previous seven (7) days as required by 395.15(f) or 395.34(a)(2), the driver is considered to not have the previous seven (7) days of logs.
- If a carrier does not repair a malfunctioning electronic logging device within eight (8) days, or obtain an extension from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Division Administrator as required by 395.34(d), the driver is considered to have no record of duty status.
- If a driver does not log into the electronic logging device as required (see 395.22(e)), the driver is considered to have no record of duty status.
Meeting the ELD mandate will require extensive training for both the carrier back office staff and driver. Being prepared will be the difference between receiving or not receiving a violation. The early implementation period may allow a small grace period to support the learning curve to ELD compliance. For those companies purposely avoiding ELD compliance, the adage of “you can run but, you cannot hide” will certainly hold true.