The Trump administration is taking steps to help ease truckers into new electronic logging requirements that are set to take effect next month.
Officials said they are prepared to push ahead with the contentious new rule, which will require truck drivers to use electronic logging devices instead of paper logs to track their driving hours starting Dec. 18. The devices connect to the vehicle's engine and automatically record driving hours.
But the administration will offer a nearly four-month window for truckers to start complying with the rule.
From Dec. 18 to April 1, any truck drivers who are caught without an electronic logging device will be cited and allowed to continue driving, as long as they are in compliance with hours-of-service rules.
Any violations incurred during that time period will not count toward a company’s safety record, officials said. Normal enforcement of the regulation will resume after April 1.
The agricultural industry, which has raised concern over how the electronic logging device rule will impact its stakeholders, will receive a 90-day waiver from the requirements, officials added.
The administration also plans to publish guidance about when movement by the driver is not subject to hours-of-service regulations, in an effort to provide further clarity to the industry about the upcoming rule change.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a final rule in 2015 requiring most motor carriers and interstate truck drivers to start using the electronic hardware to improve safety and ensure drivers are complying with hours-of-service rules.
But some in the industry, worried that the new requirements will be costly and drive away truck drivers, have urged the government to delay implementation of the mandate.
Some stakeholders, including UPS, have received a partial exemption from the rule.