In the battle to root out unqualified and unsafe drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in the final stages of drafting new rules for safety fitness guidelines. The fitness determination rules will be designed to help determine whether a carrier is suited to operate commercial motor vehicles. The rules would replace the SafeStat system, which rates carriers based solely on compliance audits. The FMCSA believes that evaluations can be made more efficient and effective by leveraging data-collection analysis and that assessments can be made without being on-site.
Implementation of such guidelines would come with a requirement to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) by all drivers who are currently required to keep paper records of duty status.
The proposed ELD requirements consists of four parts:
- The requirement to use ELDs,
- Protections against driver harassment,
- Hardware specifications for the devices and
- The hours of service-related supporting documents drivers must continue to carry after the mandate.
The annualized cost of compliance for the new rule is estimated to range between $165 and $832 per truck.
The proposal allows for a 2-year implementation period by carriers after the regulations are finalized.