The Electronic Logging Mandate, instituted as part of the MAPS-21 legislation, was designed to streamline logbooks for motor carriers and make the process of recording data easier. While it has had some success in that regard, there have recently been some complaints that too many exemptions are being authorized for some carriers. Some of the most common exemptions are for older carriers, short distance haulers, and farm vehicles.
The most pointed criticism comes from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which is affiliated with roadside inspectors (commercial). The main issue at stake is that ELD measures are designed to ensure drivers get the proper amount of time for rest and break periods, but also to make sure that all drivers and carriers are compliant with the same standards of operation.
The ELD mandate was put forward as an essential safety measure for the commercial transport industry and the CVSA argues that the lax approach to the mandate defeats the purpose of the system altogether. In some cases, the drivers may are aware of their exempt status before it’s even been communicated to the organizations overseeing the implementation of the system—clearly a communication problem that needs to be ironed out going forward.
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One of the main issues highlighted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is that of conveyance time. As described by the FMCSA, conveyance time is personal time used to move a commercial vehicle, such as to a hotel where the driver will be staying overnight. There are instances in which this time is abused by some drivers in order to position the load closer to its destination, which is against the regulation.
Enforcement of ELD measures is a complicated matter that requires careful thought, planning, and execution, some of which is still being ironed out. While the technology no doubt represents an overall improvement in tracking and enforcing safety laws, the application of the mandate has been somewhat uneven, even if some of the exemptions do make a degree of sense. We’ll need to keep a watchful on eye on the next steps taken and you can be sure to find the latest information here on our blog.
ELD Enforcement & Informational Resources
ELD Frequently Asked Questions - A resource from the FMCSA that details the main points of the ELD rule and answers common questions about it, including exemptions, compliance, and other relevant issues.
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance - The CVSA in a nonprofit organization that works for compliance, uniformity, and safety in the transport industry. It is made up primarily of local and state transport industry representatives from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.