Indiana Attorney General urges FMCSA to delay ELD mandate

Indiana’s Attorney General has sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requesting a delay of the upcoming ELD mandate.

The Letter was sent on Wednesday, November 29th, in support of Brian Babin’s bill, the ELD Extension Act of 2017.

In the letter, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill claims that the upcoming ELD mandate is not yet ready to be enacted as “too many questions surround the mandates with which drivers and operators will be expected to comply.”

For example, the most recent version of the mandate’s ‘Plan and Procedures Manual’ is currently unfinished, which makes it difficult for ELD manufacturers to ensure that the devices are fully compliant in the future.

“Manufacturers are to rely on the most recent version of the manual published to the website; yet the most recent version, Version 2.0, remains incomplete, including but not limited to, suggested testing schedules and quality assurance programs,” the letter states.

The lack of a completed manual means that even if a device is on the list of registered ELDs, the devices could still be considered non-compliant after the manual is updated by the FMCSA. This “could result in significant harm to the consumer as the device would likely already be deployed at the time non-compliance would be discovered and countless resources wasted,” explained Hill.

On top of that, if a device is found to be non-compliant, truck drivers and trucking companies only have 8 days to replace it.

“If the problem is widespread throughout a large fleet, the FMCSA has suggested it would be ‘flexible’ but has provided no further guidance,” the letter continued.

The letter then continues to explain that even if the manual is completed, the verbiage of the mandate leaves it completely open to interpretation by enforcement personnel.

“Compliance with the ELD Rule will only be determined by individual enforcement personnel’s interpretation of the data after it has successfully transferred through FMCSA’s systems. It remains unclear whether any guidelines or regulations have been developed and/or implemented for said interpretation and whether or not a particular device will even be able to transmit the data successfully. This will inevitably lead to a great deal of ambiguity and differing interpretations. FMCSA has stated that some but not all enforcement agencies will be utilizing Electronic Record of Duty Status Systems (ERODS) to determine compliance with federal regulations. FMCSA is ultimately not providing the manufacturers with access to that platform to test their devices to date.”

Hill concludes the letter by urging the FMCSA to “put on hold the new requirements until you are able to develop guidelines that offer greater clarity to the individuals you expect to follow them.”

The full Letter from Attorney General Curtis Hill can be found here.

For now, the ELD Extension Act of 2017 remains in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where it is currently being studied and considered.