The ELD rule has provisions to prevent the use of ELDs to harass drivers. FMCSA explicitly prohibits a motor carrier from harassing a driver, and provides that a driver may file a written complaint under 49 CFR 386.12(b) if the driver was subject to harassment. Technical provisions that address harassment include a mute function to ensure that a driver is not interrupted in the sleeper berth. Furthermore, the design of the ELD allows only limited edits of an ELD record by both the driver and the motor carrier’s agents, and in either case, the original ELD record cannot be changed. As a result, motor carriers will be limited in forcing drivers to violate the hours of service (HOS) rules without leaving an electronic trail that would point to the original and revised records. The driver certification is also intended, in part, to protect drivers from unilateral changes—a factor that drivers identified as contributing to harassment.
Harassment will be considered in cases of alleged hours of service (HOS) violations; therefore, the penalty for harassment is in addition to the underlying violation under 49 CFR 392.3 or part 395. An underlying HOS violation must be found for a harassment penalty to be assessed.