The updated North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) was released in December. A majority of CVSA’s Class I members need to support changes to the OOSC for them to take effect.
The OOSC provides guidelines for law enforcement and motor carriers which promote uniformity in compliance and enforcement across North America. The guidelines have been published annually for over 30 years.
“We get comments all year from law enforcement, industry, and manufacturers” on what constitutes an “imminent hazard,” that would place a driver or vehicle out of service, said Jeremy Disbrow, CVSA’s Roadside Inspection Specialist.
Major changes this year focus on so-called “False Log” violation changes, printing records of duty status when an operator is using computer-assisted logs, and when drug use causes a driver to be identified as out of service.
The changes are “mostly in favor of the driver and less stringent” than past criteria, said Disbrow. Some changes update the grammar and wording of existing guidelines so they’re clearer to law enforcement and drivers.
One clarification is on false record of duty status or “false log. “It used to be under the old version that any false entry in an eight-day logbook, even if it was seven days ago” would cause an OOSC violation, said Disbrow. “But if a driver falsified their book six days ago, and then rested and took a restart” they are probably no longer a hazard.
As a result, CVSA’s Driver/Traffic Enforcement Committee determined a false log “would only be an OOS if the falsification occurred after the last rest period and is being used to conceal either an 11-, 14-, 60- or 70-hour violation,” said Disbrow.
The changes give drivers flexibility for not having printed and signed logs. This can be an issue if a driver is exempt from electronic logging devices yet still use a computer-assisted log.
“The current interpretation in the FMCSRs for CFR 395.8 indicates electronic [logs] that are not an ELD or AOBRD must be electronically signed or printed and manually signed. All documents required by CFR 390-399 can be electronic, rather than paper,” the OOSC reads. Drivers that are using electronic logs that are not an ELD or AOBRD (Automatic Onboard Recording Device) are still required to electronically sign and print their logs.
However, the “OOSC should not require a document to be printed to not be placed in OOS. If the hours of service of the driver can be reviewed on the electronic display, the driver should not be placed OOS for no [logs] as this does not constitute an imminent hazard.”
Concerning drug use, the new OOSC has been amended to say a driver “Shall not be under the influence by adding language for use within the previous 24 hours.” This means drugs such as amphetamines, narcotics, prescription drugs not prescribed to the driver or prescription drugs that have a warning regarding operating machinery.
Drivers have also been given some flexibility on drug use. A driver who may have smoked marijuana five days ago could have, under previous OOS criteria, been deemed out of service. This year the OOSC has determined that such usage no longer presents an “imminent hazard.”