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FMCSA confirms drivers' right to review electronic logs

While the White House continues to review a draft final rule to mandate electronic logging devices (ELDs) meeting upcoming new FMCSA standards, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is still tweaking its enforcement of existing standards. In an Oct. 2 notice in the Federal Register, FMCSA issued regulatory guidance concerning the editing of records created by automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), which is the formal name for electronic logs that meet current standards.

Under prior guidance from April 1997, drivers were barred from amending AOBRD records to prevent falsification. In the years since, however, in-cab systems have advanced to the point where they can limit changes precisely and ensure that the original data is retained. Meanwhile, drivers have legitimate reasons for making certain corrections, FMCSA says.

The new guidance makes clear that within certain limits drivers must be allowed to review their AOBRD records, annotate and correct inaccurate records, enter any missing information, and certify the accuracy of the information. The AOBRD must retain the original entries, and reflect the date, time, and name of the person making edits to the information. Drivers’ supervisors may request that a driver make edits to correct errors, but the driver must accept or reject such requests. Driving time may not be edited except in the case of unidentified or team drivers, and when driving time was assigned to the wrong driver or no driver.

The changes are in line with those FMCSA proposed for ELDs and respond to concerns raise by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in its successful lawsuit several years ago to block mandatory electronic logs.

To read FMCSA's new guidance on AOBRDs, click here.

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