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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Agency Clarifies Roadside Inspection Rules for Older E-Log Devices

As reported by OverDrive: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Monday issued guidance clarifying the roadside inspection regulation for trucks equipped with automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs).

Specifically, FMCSA is responding to reports that inspection officials sometimes request drivers to provide printouts from AOBRDs, or to email or fax records of duty status (RODS). The agency has also been advised that, in some cases, inspection officials have issued citations to drivers because their AOBRDs did not display certain information.
“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) have never required AOBRDs to be capable of providing printed records at the roadside, although a driver may voluntarily do so if his/her AOBRD has that capability,” FMCSA says.
The AOBRD requirements for recording – but not displaying – information “reflect mid-1980s information technology,” the agency suggests.
“These requirements were developed when small electronic displays were relatively uncommon and costly, and the amount and type of information they could display were limited,” says the notice.
The new guidance, verbatim, reads as follows:
PART 395—HOURS OF SERVICE OF DRIVERS
Add § 395.15 Questions 5 and 6, to read as follows:
Question 5: What information is required to be displayed on the AOBRD?
Guidance:
(1) Section 395.15(i)(5) requires that AOBRDs with electronic displays must be capable of displaying the following:
‘‘(i) Driver’s total hours of driving today; (ii) The total hours on duty today;  (iii) Total miles driving today; (iv) Total hours on duty for the 7 consecutive day period, including today; (v) Total hours on duty for the prior 8 consecutive day period, including the present day; and (vi) The sequential changes in duty status and the times the changes occurred for each driver using the device.’’
(2) While § 395.15(c) requires additional information be recorded by the AOBRD, only the specific information listed in § 395.15(i)(5) must be displayed.
(3) The two provisions differ because of the data display limitations of a minimally compliant AOBRD.
Question 6: Must an AOBRD be capable of providing a hardcopy printout?
Guidance: No, the FMCSRs do not require AOBRDs to provide a hardcopy printout for an enforcement official. As long as the information made available for display on the AOBRD meets the requirements of § 395.15(i)(5), the driver and motor carrier are not required to provide additional RODS documentation to an enforcement official at the roadside.
However, an enforcement official may request that additional information be provided by email, fax, or similar means within 48 hours for follow-up after the conclusion of the roadside inspection.

Additionally, regarding the AOBRD related rulemaking, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to give stakeholders an extra 30 days to submit comments on the agency’s proposed electronic logging device mandate, citing the complexity and significance of the proposed rule as reasons.  

CVSA Executive Director Stephen Keppler in a formal letter to the agency May 7 made the request to push the current May 27 deadline back to June 26.

“This is a complex and significant rulemaking, for both the state enforcement agencies and the commercial motor vehicle industry,” the letter states, and all parties involved need time to vet and evaluate the rule and give feedback, Keppler writes.
The public comment period is 60 days long and began on the March 28 publication date of the agency’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. CVSA says 60 days is not long enough “to develop and submit a comprehensive set of comments,” according to the letter.
FMCSA has not yet responded to the request. Click here to read CVSA’s letter.
To comment on the proposal, visit regulations.gov and use the docket number FMCSA-2010-0167. Comments can also be mailed to oira_submissions@omb.eop.gov using the subject line Attention: Desk Officer for FMCSA, DOT. They can also be faxed to 202-395-6566.