Are you confused about driver paper logs and ELD use which is required on and after 12/18/17?

Asher TobinFreight, In The News

A red commercial truck driving so fast that the image is blurred

Are you confused about the driver paper logs and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) use requirements on and after 12/18/17?

Then we have an update on the ELD Regulation for you! (Check out our more recent post)

Please note the regulations have not changed for short-haul (100 air-mile radius) operations as long as the drivers meet the criteria as listed in Section 395.1(e) (attached HOS provision chart).  Also there have not been any changes for 100 air-mile radius drivers who do not qualify for the exception to Records of Duty Status (RODS) or log books, as the drivers will have to log each time they exceed the requirements for the exemption.  Where the HOS change comes into play is starting December 18, 2017, when a driver who logs more than eight times in any rolling 30-day period, must log on an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) instead of paper logs, on the 9th day and greater within the last 30 days when they do not qualify for the 100 air-mile exception to logging in §395.1(e)(1).  The exemption can be found in §395.8(a)(1)(iii)(A)(1) and states:  “A motor carrier may require a driver to record the driver’s duty status manually in accordance with this section, rather than require the use of an ELD, if the driver is operating a commercial motor vehicle: In a manner requiring completion of a record of duty status on not more than 8 days within any 30-day period.”

If a driver has paper logs instead of an ELD when required on and after December 18, 2017, the driver will be cited for not having a log but will not be put out of service until April 1, 2018, for not logging on an ELD. Both Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and FMCSA agreed that enforcement will not issue an out-of-service order until April 1, 2018, for ELD-related violations.

The April 1st date is an enforcement policy from the CVSA and it will not be in the regulations. So please refer to the CVSA news article or link below. The following is a basic list of all the major consequences of not using an ELD after December 18, 2017 from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance:

  • Having no ELD when required is the same as having no logs and is a violation of 395.8(a). Having paper logs in the vehicle is no defense if an ELD was required.  Drivers may be cited for “no logs” every time they are inspected.
  • After December 17, 2017, a driver failing to use an ELD (and unable to claim an exemption) can be cited and fined as described below. After April 1, 2018, the driver will be placed out of service for not having an ELD when required.
  • If the violation appears on a roadside inspection report, points will be assessed against the driver and carrier in the HOS Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) under the Compliance Safety Accountability program. Violating 395.8(a) is an automatic 5 points for the driver and carrier.
  • The driver could face federal civil penalties during the course of an audit of his/her carrier or as a result of an egregious violation cited at the roadside (i.e., a violation(s) that raises a red flag for the FMCSA and leads to an investigation of the individual driver). Simply failing to have a required ELD record could cost up to $1,214 per day (this is the same potential price for any recordkeeping violation), or up to $12,135 total per record ($400-500 is a typical penalty). If the driver is found to be in violation of HOS limits such as the driving or on-duty limit, which directly impacts highway safety the penalty could be $3,685 per violation.
  • If the company is audited and a pattern of “critical” ELD violations is discovered (including failure to use ELDs), then the result will be an automatic “conditional” safety rating, which could result in higher insurance rates.
  • The FMCSA could levy civil penalties against the company after an audit. Failing to have ELD records (or any required records) could cost up to $1,214 per day, or up to $12,135 total per record.  Violation of a safety rule could cost up to $14,739 (e.g., if the auditor finds that drivers used paper logs instead of ELDs and falsified their paper logs to hide violations).