Commercial truck drivers are now required to use electronic logging devices that record all their on-duty hours of service on the road.
Federal ELD Regulations
In 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced new regulations that require all commercial truckers to use compliant, registered electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track their hours of service. Truckers were given two years to replace their old on-board recording devices with new ELD systems. On December 17, 2019, the deadline ended and the mandate to use ELDs went into full force.
All truck drivers and motor carriers subject to regulations by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are mandated to comply. According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), roadside inspections will check for ELDs and inspectors will fully enforce the ELD rule with no grace period.
According to FMCSA, a commercial trucker without an ELD installed in his/her vehicle, or with an old logging device still in place will face penalties for noncompliance with federal regulations. The driver will have no record of on-duty status and service hours which puts him/her out-of-service for 10 hours. A driver carrying a passenger without a required record of duty status will be placed out of service for eight hours.
The federal ELD mandate was implemented to prevent trucking accidents and injuries caused by truck driver fatigue, a major problem seen by Henderson truck accident lawyers. Current regulations mandate a trucker’s service schedule on the road.
- Each on-duty service period must be preceded by at least 10 hours of off-duty time.
- 14-Hour Rule – Drivers may not exceed drive a 14-hour schedule each day, following 10 hours of off- time. A 14-hour schedule must include mandatory fuel and rest stops, meals, and breaks while on duty.
- 11-Hour Rule – Drivers may not exceed 11 consecutive driving hours per day.
- Drivers are required to take a mandatory break of 30-minutes before they reach 8 hours of driving time.
- Drivers may not exceed 60 on-duty hours over 7 consecutive days, or 80 on-duty hours over 8 consecutive days.
- Drivers must maintain on-duty logs for all work schedules.
Federal criminal penalties can be brought against trucking companies and carriers that knowingly and willfully allow or acquire violations; or against drivers who knowingly and willfully violate the regulations. Civil penalties between $1,000 and $11,000 can be imposed for each violation.