The road ahead for drivers looks rosy: safer roads, more streamlined fleet operations and stricter adherence to fair and equitable work schedules. That’s according to provisions in the newly instituted electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.
While the bulk of the new federal regulations oversees how hours of service are logged, recorded and transmitted to fleet offices and agencies, the ELD mandate prevents harassment of drivers and provides safeguards against unreasonable or illegal demands from fleet managers.
The mandate was instituted last December 2015 and is expected to become enforceable in December 2017.
Fleets Cannot Force Drivers To Skirt Federal Regulations
Experts say the mandate restricts the ability of fleet managers from skirting federal rules for the sake of expedience by using technology to harass drivers.
Industry expert Annette Sandberg discussed provisions in the mandate at a conference late last year by FleetOwner, an online information source of fleets. She was administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and deputy administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The mandate prevents fleets from using information gathered from ELDs or other monitoring technologies to compel drivers into overlooking federal requirements, which may include exceeding the maximum allowed road-time limits.
“Harassment is defined as ‘An action by a motor carrier toward a driver employed by the motor carrier… involving the use of the information available to the motor carrier through an ELD… or through other technology used in combination with and not separable from the ELD that the motor carrier knew, or should have known, would result in the driver violating (federal rules),’” Sanders said.
The mandate expressly includes provisions protecting independent drivers. Drivers at ABCO Transportation are covered by the mandate’s full protections. Our drivers are our most important commodity and are treated with respect.
Safeguards in the mandate include:
- The device should have a “mute” function to prevent noise while the driver is in the sleeper berth
- When a driver is in personal conveyance, the GPS location captured is for a larger area than when the vehicle is being operated in commerce (10-mile radius instead of 1 mile)
- Driver must certify any edits made by motor carrier management
- Driver has access to all their logs
The FMCSA “has set up a process for drivers to report harassment or coercion to break a rule,” Sanders said. “The agency finalized another rule on coercion – which reaches to a broader group including shippers and brokers. Both the harassment portion of the ELD Mandate and the Prohibition of Coercion rule are designed to ensure these devices are not used to harass drivers and cause them to violate the rules.”
The penalty for coercion is $16,000 per offense.
What do you think of this article on provisions in the ELD mandate about harassment? If you’re a truck driver who is looking for a company like ABCO that cares about you, contact us today. Let’s talk about you becoming one of our next ABCO drivers!