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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently adopted a Final Rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) instead of hand-recorded on-duty/off-duty logs for commercial truck drivers (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/FMCSA-ELD-Final-Rule_12-10-2015.pdf). The new rule is expected to improve roadway safety by utilizing modern technology to ensure that commercial truck drivers are complying with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.
Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can drive without rest in order to reduce the risk of commercial truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. Commercial drivers have a monetary incentive to drive as many hours as possible, which is often at odds with concerns for road safety. Because commercial truck driver logs have traditionally been recorded with pencil and paper, it has been all too easy for drivers to falsify their hours in order to comply with safety regulations.
ELD’s automatically record driving time and monitor engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information, making driver information immediately verifiable and available to roadside safety inspectors and law enforcement personnel. “This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The new ELD requirements are expected to prevent an estimated 26 deaths and 562 injuries every year from commercial truck accidents. In addition to the safety benefits, switching to electronic record-keeping is projected to create an estimated annual savings of over $1 billion in reduced paperwork costs for the commercial trucking industry. Kudos to the FMCSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation for adopting a rule that not only benefits the commercial trucking industry but also makes our nation’s highways safer for all of us.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a truck, you need to talk to an experienced Kansas City truck accident lawyer. At Wendt Law Firm P.C. we specialize in helping accident victims. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.