As we near the end of 2015, there are still various regulations that are pending publication or are expected to published before year’s end. One key rule that is top of mind in the industry at the moment is the driver coercion rule. There are also three other key proposed regulations that everyone is keeping a close eye on, which we highlighted in a regulatory check in post back in August; they are related to ELDs, speed limiters,  and driver’s safety fitness determination. This week, we take a look at these regulatory topics and offer some further clarification related to timelines.

Driver Coercion Rule – This rule intends to impose strict penalties on carriers, shippers, and brokers who attempt to pressure drivers to operate beyond federal safety rules. This rule has been cleared by the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) and has recently been sent back to the DOT for publication in the Federal Register. A proposed version of this rule was initially published back in May of 2014; at that time, it called for a $11,000US fine for each occurrence of driver coercion. The DOT, in its monthly regulatory update, projects the driver coercion rule to be published next Monday, Nov. 23.

ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Rule – The ELD rule is expected to be cleared Nov. 20 by the OMB and be published Nov. 30. Two years after the publication date (so in late 2017), this rule will require all drivers currently required to keep paper logs to use Electronic Logging Devices. The rule will also set minimum standards for the ELD hardware and software and outline penalties to prevent carriers, shippers and brokers from using the devices to harass truck operators. This rule has already missed its expected publication date twice this year, so the entire industry is keen to see if it will actually occur at the end November.

Speed Limiter Rule – The rule to mandate the use of speed limiters on heavy trucks is expected to clear the OMB on Nov. 25 and be published Dec. 3. This is the proposed version of the rule, so the DOT must take comment on the rule and then go back through the rule making process another time before publishing a final version of the rule.

Safety Fitness Rule – The FMCSA is proposing a change to how carriers receive their “safety fitness determination.” Carriers are presently given a safety rating of satisfactory, conditional, or unsatisfactory that reflects their compliance with regulations. In order to get their rating, a carrier company must go through a safety audit, which means there are a large number of companies presently out there without a safety rating at all. To address this issue, the FMCSA is proposing that the carriers “Safety Fitness Determination” be tied to the carrier’s monthly safety rankings in the CSA. The CSA program in itself  has drawn a lot of criticism from many industry associations, and this rule seems to disregard flaws in the overall program, which rule makers should instead be focusing on. The Safety Fitness rule is expected to be published Nov. 24, but it’s projected OMB clearance date, Nov. 13, has already passed, and the rule is still with the OMB.


References – Accessed Nov 19,2015.

Regulatory Check In – what to expect for the end of 2015 was last modified: by