Feds delay two rule changes; ELD rule in September

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Two major federal regulatory changes looming for the trucking industry have been delayed again, according to the latest rulemakings report from the Department of Transportation (DOT). A final rule to mandate electronic logging devices, however, is still forecasted to be published in September, the report says.

Electronic logging device rule’s expected publication unchanged

Here are the latest dates projected by the DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for significant rulemakings expected this year:

* Electronic logging device mandate: The forecasted date for a final rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices is still Sept. 30, a date FMCSA has gone back and forth on in recent months. The proposed rule for the mandate was published last March, and the Final Rule will take effect two years after its publication in the Federal Register.

* Speed limiter mandate: The DOT’s April report now projects a proposed speed limiter mandate rule to be published July 27, instead of the June 22 projection in its March report. The rule was sent to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation in August and has been awaiting approval there before sending to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for its approval. The DOT does project it will send the rule to the OMB within the next week, however.

* Safety Fitness Determination: Yet again, a proposed rule to implement an absolute scoring system for motor carriers has been delayed, per the report. The agency’s Safety Fitness Determination rule is now projected to be published Aug. 17 — a one-month delay from the July 15 projection in the DOT’s March report. It is projected to be sent to the OMB May 5.

* CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse: FMCSA’s rule to establish a database of drivers who have failed or refused a drug or alcohol test is still slated to be published as a final rule on Dec. 14. The agency published its proposed rule last year.

* Prohibition of driver coercion: The publication date for a rule to impose stiffer penalties on carriers, shippers brokers and others who coerce truck operators to drive in violation of federal safety also did not change in the April report. The DOT still projects a Sept. 10 publication date, with a June 1 date of submission to the OMB.

The report also includes projections for trucking-relevant rules being produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

* Electronic stability control system mandate: NHTSA has had in the works for several years a rule to require all new trucks to be equipped with stability control systems, which help prevent rollovers and loss of control accidents. The rule hit the OMB Feb. 4, and it’s slated to clear the OMB May 4 and be published May 7 as a Final Rule. It would take effect for 2017 year model trucks.

* Fuel economy standards, Phase 2: NHTSA’s proposed rule to implement Phase 2 of its fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas was sent to the OMB late last month. The projected dates in the DOT’s April report appear to have not been updated relative to delays in the rule’s progression. The new standards would be for 2018 and later year model trucks.