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ELD & HOS News

Roadcheck 2018, new rest bill, grace period is over

April 02, 2018

It is April 2 and the three-month grace period for trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices (ELD) is now closed. Drivers found to be without ELDs can be placed out of service for 10 hours, have points added to their compliance, safety, accountability program scores, or assessed a civil fine.

With few exceptions for industry-specific drivers, the ELD mandate requires any driver who was previously required to keep a paper log now must have an installed ELD to track their hours of service (HOS), currently 11-hours daily driving time and 14-hour maximum on-duty time.

International Roadcheck - June 5-7, 2018 - Focus HOS

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place June 5-7, 2018. Over that 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout North America will conduct inspections of commercial motor vehicles and drivers. This year’s focus is on hours-of-service compliance.

During International Roadcheck, inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.

The vehicle inspection includes checking brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers..

Drivers are asked to provide their operating credentials and hours-of-service documentation, and will be checked for seat belt usage. Inspectors will also be attentive to apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment.

If no critical inspection item violations are found during a Level I Inspection, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle, indicating that the vehicle successfully passed a decal-eligible inspection conducted by a CVSA-certified inspector.

If an inspector does identify critical inspection item violations, he or she may render the driver or vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Out-of-Service Criteria. This means the driver cannot operate the vehicle until the vehicle and/or driver qualification violation(s) are corrected.

 “The top reason drivers were placed out of service during 2017 International Roadcheck was for hours-of-service violations,” said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “Thirty-two percent of drivers who were placed out of service during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck were removed from our roadways due to violations related to hours-of-service regulations. It’s definitely an area we need to call attention to this year.”

“Although the electronic logging device (ELD) rule that went into effect on Dec. 18, 2017, does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service rules or exceptions, the ELD mandate placed a spotlight on hours-of-service compliance,” said Capt. Turner. “We thought this year would be a perfect opportunity to focus on the importance of the hours-of-service regulations.”

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with around 17 trucks and buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72-hour period. Since its inception in 1988, more than 1.5 million roadside inspections have been conducted during International Roadcheck campaigns.

New Rest Bill Introduced

Last week, Representative Brian Babin of Texas introduced the Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers Act (HR 5417), or REST, with the goal of modernizing hours of service for truck drivers and give them more flexibility to manage their time.

According to Babin's bill, (text of the bill is not yet posted to Congress.gov) the REST act would only make one significant change in the Hours of Service rule: to extend the day by three hours from its current top limit of 14 hours. The bill does NOT increase the number of hours behind the wheel.

REST would also eliminate the 30-minute rest mandate.

“The REST Act would allow drivers to take one rest break per shift, for up to three consecutive hours,” Babin’s office said. “The single (up to 3-hour) off-duty period would not be counted toward the driver’s 14-hour, on-duty allowance and would not extent the total, allowable drive limits.”

Drivers would still need to log ten consecutive hours off duty before the start of their next work shift. 

According to Landline Magazine, The bill would be a congressional fix to the HOS regs, while a recent Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) petition for rulemaking submitted to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Feb. 13 seeks identical changes through a regulatory fix. Hours of service, on the other hand, are a regulatory requirement and do not need congressional intervention to be changed.

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