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What ELD Enforcement Could Look Like on Day 1

December 15, 2017, by Steven Martinez

Corrected: 12/18

If a fleet waited until the last minute to buy an electronic logging device or their ELDs are on backorder it might be wondering what enforcement will look like on Dec. 18 when the ELD rule finally goes into effect.

Unless you fall within one of the two groups granted temporary exemptions so far from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Monday's deadline will present some immediate challenges. 

Although the FMCSA and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance have already said that ELD enforcement will  roll out with a "phased in" approach for the first few months, there's more to the enforcement angle than that.

While during an initial 3½-month period, vehicles will not be placed out of service for missing ELDs and no points will be assessed to CSA scores for ELD violations, state and local law enforcement agencies will still be able to cite and fine drivers or companies for driving without an ELD.

“On Monday, we’ll be conducting roadside inspections like we normally do all across the country. There’s no special enforcement initiative that day regarding ELDs,” Collin Mooney, executive director of CVSA told HDT.

“If we encounter a driver that does not yet have an ELD installed and they are not exempt then we will document that violation of no ELD on our roadside inspection report, provided that the driver still has hours of service documented somewhere in a log book, and the driver will then go down the road,” he added.

Drivers may be given a citation for not having an ELD in the vehicle, but that will be up to the jurisdiction and the individual inspector. Mooney said he suspects that citations will be handed out less frequently at first, but because it is up to the jurisdiction to decide how it will enforce the rule beginning on Dec. 18, there is really no way to definitely say if enforcement will be more lenient or not with regards to citations.

“Technically, because the law is on the books and it’s no different than any other rule that we enforce every day, it’s really up to the discretion of the officer for what they’re going to do,” he said.

No CSA points will be issued for violations through March 31 and no out-of-service conditions will be applied until April 1, but Mooney cautioned against thinking of this initial stretch as any sort of grace period. The ELD rule will be real and enforced on Dec. 18 and the temporary delay of the most extreme consequences is merely a tacit admission that this is a significant change.

“Some refer to it as soft enforcement or stepped up enforcement - my choice is to call it an implementation process because it is a significant change to the industry,” said Mooney. “As regulators, I think it’s a responsible approach, as opposed to having a hard enforcement -- meaning out-of-service violations, CSA points, and citations all on Monday [Dec. 18]. I think that’s not fair to anybody when you’re dealing with something so significant.”

And there's yet another enforcement wrinkle. John Seidl, transportation consultant with Integrated Risk Solutions and a former Wisconsin state trooper and FMCSA investigator, explained to HDT that any ELD violations will be noted in publicly available records and this could have consequences for drivers and fleets.

Insurance companies would likely look into these records to see if a driver or carrier is consistently in violation of the ELD rule, which could affect how their insurability regardless of any hit to their CSA scores, said Steidl. And for drivers, if they work for an employer who has not equipped them with an ELD during this period, these violations will be noted in places such as the FMCSA’s pre-employment screening (PSP) program. This could have an effect on a driver’s ability to be hired in the future by other fleets.

"A carrier may use the PSP to determine whether to hire or not hire a guy, so what if that guy has multiple violations for no ELDs or ELD-related issues?," said Steidl. "If a driver gets pulled over and gets violated for an ELD-related issue, even if he’s not placed out of service and does not affect the CSA points of his company, it will show up as an item on his PSP."

"There's people out there that think that this April is an extension, but it aint no damn extension," he added.

Law enforcement has been preparing for months leading up to the ELD deadline and FMCSA officials told HDT in November that its enforcement partners within CVSA are fully prepared for the mandate's implementation date.

In addition, FMCSA has held several educational sessions to teach law-enforcement trainers on how enforcement will work and they took that information back to their own jurisdictions to train officers.

For fleets that are already compliant, there will still be adjustments to the new rule but for them the deadline is less daunting. David Heller, vice president of government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association, told HDT that the TCA's carrier members are close to 100% compliant.

He said that members were prepared because they paid attention to the news that their local associations and groups like  TCA and the American Trucking Associations have shared with them since the rule was finalized.

“Quite honestly, I think as an industry we’re all looking forward to Monday [Dec. 18] and putting this behind us,” said Heller. “This is one of those issues that have been around for a while and we in the industry are looking to move the needle on this issue. Getting this behind us is one of those regulatory steps that will enable us to focus on things like ‘what is next?’”

CORRECTION: Story intially said phased-in enforcement period would be six months. It is in fact 3½ months long, ending on April 1. 


  1. 1. Jacke davs [ December 17, 2017 @ 05:31PM ]

    WHO DECIDED THAT ALL THIS BULLSHIT IS EVEN FAIR? so say I get an elderly violation and then it goes public. Then I can't get hired bcuz of whatever eld error occurs ( remember we are here man, and not perfect in any water what you expect). But yet I've never had a speeding ticket or a DUI or accident. And I take care of my equipment, but because I forgot to log out one day for my 30 because I had to go pee so bad, it messes me up for the day and I get inspected the next day. So now someone may not hire me? But yet the idiot behind the wheel who cuts people off, but is perfect on the eld because he's a computer geek, gets a good score. That's straight stupid! And Wrong! And whoever thought this is a good idea has no business running our lives. This shit is communist. All you people have straight given away our freedom!

  2. 2. Randall Williams [ December 17, 2017 @ 06:21PM ]

    I have been driving for over 33 years and I have a clean record. E L D was brought in by Big Companies trying to put the little guy out of work. You can't tell me that a driver being made to drive for 11 hours and not over 14 work hours is SAFE. What if you get sleepy between Hours 3 and 6? Can you stop and get the sleep that you need at the time or does The E L D side make you keep driving? You take drivers from A School in 30 day's and put them in a truck? Really is that safe? This is Dead Wrong. Should no computer or person should have the right to tell someone when they are sleepy and when they can stop and go. Being SAFE BEHIND THE WHEEL is a must but no computer is going to make it better. This is a money maker for the HIGHWAY PATROL. There is not enough parking in this country for the Trucks that are rolling know. ELD is going to add more Truck's and unqualified drivers to the traffic jams freight is going to be late freight rates are going to increase and the bright people that came up with this idea of ELD who has never Drove a Truck gets paid for a big mistake. There are still some good Drivers out there but not for long. The government is out of control. Want ideas on Driving A Big Truck Safe ask a Driver that has been there and done it. But they could come up with much better idea. That's all ELD is. Get ready to pay more and get less.

  3. 3. Runamuk [ December 18, 2017 @ 04:50AM ]

    You no I could fill this comment section completely up with reasons why this is a horrible so called mandate ,But what's the use nobody is listing or gives a shit that can or will make a difference,So why bother we are all preaching to the choir!!!

  4. 4. TEEJAE [ December 18, 2017 @ 06:22AM ]

    a true ELD (once you are not moving for more than 5 minutes) and take a pee, will alert you to change your status to not driving, which will not cause you to FORGET to log out or change your status, and if Truck Stops are over crowded AFTER the ELD mandate takes affect remember HOS REGS HAVE NOT CHANGED, so why would they be over crowded?..... the shipper/receiver has a truck driver at their mercy, they told you when detention started, but now you are in control and can start the time when you decide, there are so many benefits to a trucking company and or owner operator can take advantage of if you would just quit listening to the negative and focus on the positive.

  5. 5. Steve [ December 18, 2017 @ 09:39AM ]

    ALL government employees should not drive anywhere after they have begun their day..i am not safe on the same highway as them . Because they are tired..lead by example

  6. 6. Curt [ December 18, 2017 @ 09:51AM ]

    I'm just waiting for a response from fmcsa' on the 8 hr exemption, I don't know how to prove that I'm using this' just temp until I sell my equipment' cover some expenses' If not I just need to stop paying all my expenses and call it a day done with this BS.

  7. 7. Terry Iwen [ December 19, 2017 @ 03:24AM ]

    My truck is sitting in my yard since Sunday, can't seem to make up my mind what to do.Been driving since 1972. I've never had an accident or a moving violation in my career I don't think I need an e-log babysitter!!!

  8. 8. Samuel [ December 19, 2017 @ 06:51PM ]

    Yep my trucks been sitting for a few days as well started this business two years ago with the assumption that hard work and self reliance persistence and professionalism was all I needed to move forward and make our futures and own retirement without government or federal fake foreign governments and bam I was wrong never needed my hand held for shit or government assistance to say the least the problem I see is no ones ever stood there ground made sure they were still attached and stood up for being a free American its time to show the fake government who can't fix shit only manipulate Americans waste tax payers money which is illegal but if your the government do what you want I don't think this is whining put your foot down and say fuck there regulations they can't abide by there own shit lead by example or move on there over 68 percent that's not getting the ELD 👎🏻 Let them shut all of us down and watch there economy fail worse than it already is they manufacture economic crashes every ten years it's time they go let them fuck up there own lives not ours Americans first

  9. 9. Paul [ December 21, 2017 @ 10:17AM ]

    Only one way to stop the mandate now...park your truck, all trucks, until after Christmas....problem will solve itself!!!

  10. 10. octavio [ March 23, 2018 @ 12:27PM ]

    We got to go on big ass strike stop driving


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