To help the industry transition into the ELD mandate, it was designed to be implemented in two phases.
The first phase began on December 18th of 2017. At this point, every non-exempt driver was required to have an ELD or AOBRD. Violations would be logged by DOT officers to drivers without a device, but these violations would not affect a carrier’s SMS score, and drivers would be allowed to continue down the road.
Inspectors have been trained to log violations for not having an ELD with the violation code “395.22A.” Uniform coding of these violations helps the FMCSA filter them so they can easily ignore ELD violations until April 1st.
Enter phase two. On April 1st, ELD violations, even those logged under 395.22A, will be counted against SMS scores and not having a compliant ELD can result in an out-of-service order.
Reports of incorrect violation codes
The problem is that Motive has heard of an alarming number of instances where the incorrect violation code has been used by DOT Inspectors.
As a reminder, violations coded 395.22A until April will not affect SMS scores, but closely related violations will.
It isn’t malicious or being done with bad intent. The ELD mandate is a complex regulation with a lot of moving parts. It’s understandable that some miscommunication has occurred between the FMCSA and the folks enforcing the mandate locally.
With the critical importance of SMS scores to your business, it’s imperative that you’re informed and able to take action if affected.
What to do if you get an incorrect violation?
If you don’t yet have an ELD installed and because of that fact you receive a violation logged with a code other than 395.22A, you need to submit a DataQ.
For those unfamiliar with DataQ, it’s the system that allows the industry to request and track a review of violations that may be incorrect.
Submitting a DataQ will bring the issue to the attention of the FMCSA, who can investigate and change the violation code as appropriate, which will help protect your SMS score.
If you have any questions or received an incorrectly logged violation, please email us with a copy of the violation report at firstname.lastname@example.org.