Congress mandates electronic logs, for now

June 30, 2012


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Congress has, subject to President Obama’s expected signature, mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs) for all drivers who currently must maintain paper logs. But even before the House approved that requirement it voted to withhold the funding that would be needed to implement it.

The ELD mandate — part of a reauthorization of highway development and safety programs — requires the Department of Transport to adopt regulations within one year mandating the devices to be installed within two years thereafter.

The highway legislation (H.R. 4348) also requires:

  • The creation of a clearinghouse to track drug and alcohol test results;
  • A study of crashworthiness standards for large trucks;
  • The establishment of standards for systems to provide employers with timely notifications of drivers’ moving violations; and
  • Mandatory testing of new carriers entering the industry to verify their knowledge of safety requirements.

    President Obama on June 29 signed stop-gap legislation to fund highway programs through July 6 while the final paperwork and reviews are completed on H.R. 4348.

    But less than two hours before the House passed the final version of H.R. 4348 on the afternoon of June 29, the House adopted by voice vote an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) to a DOT appropriations bill (H.R. 5972) that would zero out funding to implement the very regulations it was about to vote to mandate. The Landry amendment will take effect, however, only if the Senate ultimately agrees and is included in the DOT funding bill signed by President Obama.

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