Inspectors will, at their discretion, begin issuing citations for non-compliance with the federal electronic logging device mandate on the Dec. 18 deadline for adoption, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced Monday. However, the 10-hour out-of-service order associated with non-compliance with the mandate will begin April 1, 2018, CVSA also announced.
CVSA, which is made up of enforcement officials and meant to provide uniformity in enforcement of trucking and bus regulations, says it has notified FMCSA of its plan to begin citation enforcement Dec. 18 and out-of-service enforcement in April.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration confirmed CVSA’s enforcement plans. FMCSA also confirmed that the delay in out-of-service enforcement does not affect the the date by which truckers must adopt an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD — a form of electronic logging system with more limited functionality than an ELD) if they want to extend their ELD compliance to December 2019.
“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,” says FMCSA spokesperson Duane DeBruyne.
The slight delay in the enforcement of the out-of-service criteria “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,” CVSA said in its announcement. This strategy is in line with how CVSA has handled enforcement of other major trucking regulations, the group said.
Inspectors and roadside officers will begin documenting ELD violations on the Dec. 18 deadline, and citations will be issued to drivers “at the jurisdiction’s discretion,” CVSA says.
Violations related to ELDs will, in a way, be considered hours of service violations for purposes of the out of service criteria. Various ELD-related violations will ultimately come with the out-of-service equivalent of not having a logbook, having false logs and not maintaining previous seven days of duty status. For instance, a driver or carrier not using a logging device that fits with federal requirements will be “considered to have no record of duty status,” according to updated out-of-service criteria issued by CVSA earlier this year.
The Monday announcement confirms what two FMCSA representatives hinted at last week in a special ELD seminar held at the Great American Trucking Show.
Asked by an audience member about rumors of “soft enforcement” of the ELD mandate December deadline during the Thursday, Aug. 24, session, FMCSA representatives would say only that officers “may or may not” take enforcement action against drivers not utilizing ELDs. CVSA’s slight delay in the out of service criteria related to ELDs answers the trucker’s question, in part, delaying the perhaps most severe enforcement action that could be brought.
Reports have indicated CVSA’s approach will be “phased-in” enforcement, but the CVSA noted it will begin enforcement of the ELD mandate on the Dec. 18 compliance date.