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Sandberg: US ELD Rule on Schedule; Other Proposed Regs Could Be in ‘Limbo’

While major trucking regulations such as the electronic logging device mandate are on schedule, other proposed rules will be subject to review as part of the Trump administration’s regulatory freeze – and some could be dropped altogether, says former FMCSA administrator Annette Sandberg.

Featured in the latest Fleet Owner/Omnitracs webinar, Sandberg, now principal at TransSafe Consulting LLC, described several recent and upcoming federal transport regs to be in “limbo”. She said President Trump’s “two-for-one” executive order (under which two existing rules must be dropped before a new one can imposed) is “causing pause” in the regulatory pipeline, reports Fleet Owner.

“So if you’ve wondered why DOT hasn’t done anything, these executive orders basically halted any regulations from coming out,” she said.

Published in 2015 and due to take effect in December, Sandberg called the ELD mandate “the big one.” She noted that while the agency has yet to finalize “the data transfer piece,” especially with regard to supplier self-testing and the impact on the enforcement community, she expects the rule to move forward more or less as planned.

“What we’re hoping is FMCSA will work out some of the logistical problems and make sure federal and state enforcement people are fully trained, and that when fleets begin to implement this on a broader basis that everybody is ready and it goes off without any major problems.”

She said that although there is always the potential of “another surprise” with “this administration,” she doesn’t expect major delays at this time and added non-ELD fleets should definitely be proceeding under the expectation that it is going to take effect this year. “There’s a learning curve with this type of technology. This is not something you can switch to overnight and be successful.”

There are bigger questions surrounding other proposed rules, however. FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last fall published an NPRM on mandatory speed limiters that famously did not specify the speed at which to limit commercial vehicles.

“This one’s going to be held up,” Sandberg said. “Keep in mind: If the agency wants to issue it, they’re going to have to find two that they’re going to eliminate. So, the 2-for-1 is going to impact some of these regulations whether people want to see them or not.”

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is another rule that could be delayed. FMCSA last year published an Advance NPRM but, given the current reform environment, “absent significant scientific data, this one’s going to take a back burner,” Sandberg said.

Click here to read the full Fleet Owner article, which includes other regulations that are now in “wait and see mode.”

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