FMCSA’s ELD mandate is becoming a reality for many carriers. Despite several efforts to stymie the ruling, the mandate will go into effect December 18 of this year. However, whether fleets are ELD compliant, in the process of installing ELDs, or researching various products, there is still a lot of confusion regarding enforcement.

The Government is Ready

There is a misconception that police officers are not yet able to enforce the new ruling. However, this is not the case. Law enforcement is ready and able, but the FMCSA and Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) are rolling out the enforcement in stages. For the first six months, non-compliant drivers and vehicles will not be put out of commission for violations.

This does not mean, however, that fleets can ignore the ELD mandate for an additional six months. If the FMCSA notices abuses or continuous violations, they will take immediate action. Fleets with repeat infractions may find themselves subject to investigations and fines.

Pushback for Delayed Implementation

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) issued a petition to the FMCSA seeking a delay due to state laws lagging behind the ruling. Another major concern focused on electronic records of duty status (eRODS). Roadside officials need an eRODS program to interpret the ELD data.

The FMCSA released a statement that they will address the state law issue before the ELD effective date. As for eRODS programs, the U.S. DOT agency pointed out that such programs make reading ELD data easier, but they are not necessary to enforce the ruling. Officers can print out ELD records or check the ELD display for compliance information.

Focus on Hours of Service Compliance

While there is much contention surrounding the ELD mandate, the FMCSA is stressing the focus has always been hours of service (HOS) compliance. The HOS rules have not changed—only the way drivers track them is new. Using ELDs versus paper logs makes more sense as they are more accurate and faster during inspections.

Fleets can no longer afford to drag their heels regarding ELD implementation. The FMCSA has made it clear that they are ready to enforce the mandate and will take action against those deliberately violating the ruling. To learn more about controlling your risk and complying with ELD regulations, contact the experts at Envirun.