FMCSA delays publication for rules on e-logs, speed limiters

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) has pushed back projected publication dates for several major trucking regulations expected this year, according to its monthly rulemakings report. Here are the dates the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) expects to publish each:

Electronic logging device mandate: The projected publication date for a Final Rule to mandate use of electronic logging devices by all drivers required to keep records of duty status has been pushed back to Nov. 9 — about six weeks later than the Sept. 30 publication date the DOT has teased for several months. The rule will take effect two years after its publication date in the Federal Register, which, with any more delays, could be in 2016 — pushing the rule’s compliance deadline into 2018. The agency published the proposed ELD mandate in March 2014.

Speed limiter mandate: The DOT has pushed back the projected publication date of a rule to require the use of speed limiters on heavy trucks to June 8 — a month later than the May publication date it has projected in recent months. The rule is being produced by FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but neither agency has said what the limited speed would be after the mandate takes effect. The upcoming rule will be published as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and would include a public comment period prior to the agency’s production of a Final Rule.

CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse: The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule is now projected to be published Dec. 14 — another roughly six-week delay from from the Oct. 30 projected publication date in the DOT’s January report. The rule will institute a database of drivers who have failed or refused to take a drug or alcohol test. Carriers will be required to upload such information to the clearinghouse and query it when making new hires. The agency published a proposed rule last year. The projected dates are for the Final Rule, which would go into effect 18 months after its publication in the Federal Register.

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Safety Fitness Determination: A rule to institute the next step in the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program — the Safety Fitness Determination — is now projected to be published July 1 — a few weeks later than the June 17 date from the agency’s last report. The Safety Fitness Determination would allow FMCSA to use ratings from CSA’s Safety Measurement System BASICs, along with data from investigations and inspections, to produce a score for carriers, which it would use to target carriers for intervention.

Prohibition of driver coercion: The agency’s rule to impose penalties on carriers, shippers, brokers and other entities who coerce truck operators to drive in violation of federal safety rules is still projected to be published Sept. 10. The agency published a proposed rule last year, and the Final Rule will take effect upon its publication in the Federal Register.