ELD Mandate: Balancing Compliance and Eliminating Driver Harassment
ELD Mandate: Balancing compliance and eliminating driver harassment
It took some time but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has finalized the rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) by commercial vehicle operators. The ELD mandate needs to be implemented in all commercial trucks by December 2017. The decision has already gained some cheers as the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) president and CEO Bill Graves unhesitatingly stated a prediction that the ELD rule “will change the trucking industry for the better—forever.”
Federal officials strongly believe that this newly incorporated ELD mandate will provide more safety on roads which translates into a more streamlined commercial trucking industry. Moreover, this technology opens the door to a better scrutiny of divers’ road time. However, some agitations have already seen in the form of a question ‘will fleet managers be able to misuse the technology to harass truck drivers?’
The answer is a resounding no. According to Annette Sandberg, who was an administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the ELD mandate includes protective provisions in favor of truck drivers. For instance, it states that using ELD-collected information or monitoring capacities to harass drivers into violating federal rules are strictly prohibited. Besides, the provision also safeguards the interest of independent drivers who are working for a motor carrier.
Protections in the ELD mandate include:
- Requiring the ELD device to have a ‘mute’ function so that drivers could avoid noise while they are in sleeper berth.
- There should have a significant difference in terms of GPS location capturing between when a driver is in personal conveyance and when the vehicle is in commercial use. The ratio should be 10:1 mile radius.
- Drivers should have access to all of their logs.
- If the motor carrier management made any edits/change, drivers must certify that change.
Yes, drivers can complain
The good part is FMCSA has given drivers a lot of flexibility. They can actually report to the authority against fleet managers if there is any harassment or intimidation to break a rule. The competent authority will take those reports very seriously. The ‘Harassment Rule’ and the ‘Prohibition of Coercion Rule’ of the ELD mandate are designed to reach to a broader group including brokers and shippers. All these rules and regulations are making sure that these ELD devices are not going to be used as a means to harass drivers or cause them to violate the rules.
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