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Electronic Logging Devices to Become Mandatory for Truck Drivers

Because of the sheer size of the vehicles involved, commercial trucking accidents in Tallahassee and across the country can leave their victims with catastrophic, life altering injuries. All too often, these injuries could almost always have been prevented.

In a move that is being touted by one top Federal official as a “win for all motorists on our nation’s roadways,” the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced recently that Federal Law will soon mandate the use of electronic hours of service logging. Long outdated, paper log books are still in widespread use by commercial truck drivers.

Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can be on-duty and still drive, as well as the number of hours spent driving.  The purpose of the regulations have always been to prevent fatigue for those operating such massive pieces of equipment. They require drivers to take a work break, and have a sufficient off-duty rest period before returning to on-duty status.

Since 1938, most truck and bus drivers tracked their hours of service with pencil and paper in driver log books. These handwritten logs were virtually impossible to verify. The federal government will now require almost all commercial trucks and buses to be outfitted with electronic logging devices (ELD). These devices automatically record driving time, monitor engine hours, vehicle movement miles driven and location information.

The four main elements of the ELD Final Rule include:

  • Requiring commercial truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records to adopt ELDs within two years.
  • Strictly prohibiting commercial driver harassment. The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs.
  • Setting technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so that manufacturers are able to produce compliant devices and systems – and purchasers are enabled to make informed decisions.
  • Establishing new requirements for drivers to retain documentation supporting their whereabouts at any given time while on duty (fuel receipts, weight receipts, etc.)

The FMCSA estimates that the move to ELD will annually result in saving 26 lives and preventing 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles. Any move in the direction of making our roads and highways safer is a move that Barrett, Fasig & Brooks fully supports.

If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of the negligence of commercial truck, please don’t try to navigate the process on your own. Our attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooksare available to talk to you at any time of the day or night, every day of the week. Let us help you.