FMCSA Issues Two Narrow ELD Exemptions to All Carriers
Having decided to grant part of a United Parcel Service request for a limited 5-year exemption from some provisions of the electronic logging device mandate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will now allow all motor carriers — not just UPS — and drivers to make use of two new temporary exemptions from the ELD rule.
The first exemption will temporarily permit the use of portable “driver-based” ELDs to record engine data “only when the driver is in a CMV and the engine is powered." What that means in plainer English is that drivers who use smartphone- or tablet-based ELDs (as do UPS drivers) will be able to indicate a change of duty status when they are outside of and away from their truck.
The second exemption will temporarily allow carriers to configure an ELD with a “yard-move mode” that does not require a driver to re-input the truck’s yard-move status every time the tractor is powered off.
The two exemptions are being granted for the 5-year period beginning on Oct. 20, 2017, and ending on Oct. 20, 2022 — unless they are rescinded at any time by FMCSA.
The agency stated that the exemptions will be rescinded if:
- Motor carriers and/or drivers fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemptions
- The exemptions have resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before they were granted
- Continuation of the exemptions would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)
FMSCA further stated that: “Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate that motor carriers or drivers participating in either of the exemptions are not achieving the requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA.”
The agency noted that it will evaluate any such information and “if safety is being compromised or if the continuation of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 311315(b), [it] will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption.”
The agency stated in its notice on the exemptions published in the Oct. 20th Federal Register that it had decided granting these temporary exemptions “would not have an adverse impact on safety, and that a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by the regulation would be maintained.”
The new ELD rule takes effect in just about 8 weeks, on Dec. 18th.
Related Commentary: A Whirlwind of Last-Minute ELD Preparations