Leslie E. Lovre, Technical Assistant ::::
Commercial vehicle operators have long been required to maintain personal Records of Duty Status (RODs); however, RODS had been criticized for being burdensome, inaccurate, and subject to falsification. In response, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) proposed a rule requiring that most commercial vehicle operators and carriers use Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) to record a driver’s hours of service. After years of industry debate, pushback, and technological refinement, the ELD rule became effective on December 18, 2017. Here are some of the highlights of the new rule, as provided by the FMSCA:
- In general, the rule applies to interstate operators of commercial vehicles who are currently required to maintain RODS. Exceptions include:
- Drivers who use paper logs no more than eight days during any 30-day period
- Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000
- ELDs must record driver and carrier identification information, date, time, location, vehicle mileage, and engine hours.
- An ELD automatically records all time that a commercial motor vehicle is in motion as driving time. Once recorded, this information within the ELD cannot be edited or changed to non-driving time. However, provisions exist that allow drivers to edit, annotate or correct copies of the ELD data.
- At the start of each trip, a driver must log into the ELD using unique identification criteria. If a driver fails to do so, the device will provide audible and visual warnings and will continue to record data under a default unidentified driver profile.
- As with traditional paper logs, law enforcement officers may request, and drivers must provide, electronic RODs on demand.
- ELDs must be able to provide on-demand RODs using email, Bluetooth, or USB technologies.
As with many new technologies, problems are likely to occur. Recognizing this, the FMSCA has allowed law enforcement to delay placing operators out-of-service, for hours-of-service violations, until April 1, 2018 thus providing drivers and carriers the time to become familiar with their devices and systems.
For additional information on DJS’ Automotive Capabilities, contact Leslie E. Lovre, Technical Assistant, at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.