The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates it will post the final electronic logging mandate next September.
The rule will require most drivers to eventually switch from paper to electronic logs. It also will set standards for the devices and the supporting documents that regulators need to confirm compliance, and protect drivers from harassment.
After the rule is published, carriers will have two years to comply. And carriers that already use electronic logging devices that meet current specifications will have two years to bring those devices into compliance with the new specs.
The September date is not exact. The agency is now analyzing the more than 2,200 comments and plans to submit a final rule to the office of the Secretary of Transportation in May. After that office completes its review, the rule goes to the White House Office of Management and Budget, which may accept the rule as it is or may ask FMCSA to make changes.
Any one of these steps could add more time to the process, which is not unusual.
A related rule that would set up penalties for coercing drivers also is scheduled for next September.
In its monthly update of its regulatory calendar, the agency also said it plans to post a safety fitness determination proposal next April.
This proposal will set forth the agency’s plans for using its CSA safety enforcement system to determine whether or not a carrier is safe enough to operate. The final rule probably won’t be ready until 2016.
Also in process:
- A final drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule is due next October. It will set up a central database for carriers to check drivers’ history with controlled substances as part of the hiring process.
- A final rule that will rescind the requirement that drivers submit inspection reports when there’s nothing wrong with the truck is at OMB and is close to publication.
- A proposal to set higher insurance minimums for carriers will show up any day.
- A proposal by FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require speed limiters on heavy trucks is scheduled for publication next March.