The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published a new rule that requires commercial truck and bus operators to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record their services hours by 2017.
Unlike traditional paper logs, ELDs automatically record driving times in sync with a commercial vehicle’s engine.
The new ELD mandate, which requires the transition from paper logs to ELDs, is aimed at improving commercial truck drivers’ compliance with federal hours-of-service (HOS) rules.
These regulations place limits on driving and on-duty times in an effort to stop fatigued drivers from getting on the road – a leading cause of tractor-trailer accidents. Read more about this new ELD rule here.
What Do ELDs Do?
ELDs automatically records the following criteria:
- Driving time
- A vehicle’s movement
- The number of miles traveled
- …and even when the engine is running
All of this information is recorded automatically through a computer, making it is less susceptible to tampering – something that cannot be said for paper logs.
What Does the New Rule Say?
The following are some of the highlights of the new rule, which applies to drivers, manufacturers, and enforcement partners.
- For carriers and drivers – The new rule includes details regarding deadlines for making the switch from paper logs to digital logging devices. It also strictly prohibits driver harassment on the part of carriers with respect to information collected by the ELDs.
- For manufacturers – The mandate provides a list of specifications all ELDs must include to meet FMCSA guidelines.
- For “enforcement partners” – The rule explains how ELDs will be phased into the trucking industry, which gives law enforcement officials a timeline for enforcing compliance with the new rule.
Check out this site here to read more about driver harassment.
How Will the New Rule Impact the Trucking Industry?
This new ELD rule is projected to have a substantial impact on the trucking industry and safety on the roads and highways.
According to studies commissioned by the FMCSA, the new rule should:
- Lower the number of truck accidents each year, which could prevent an estimated 26 fatalities and 562 injuries on an annual basis.
- Save taxpayers up to $1 billion each year, due in large part to less administrative oversight required to make sure drivers who use paper logs are complying with hours-of-service regulations.
Many groups have been vocal about their opinions regarding the switch to ELDs. Although the American Trucking Association supports ELDs, 71 percent of truck drivers surveyed in a poll conducted by Overdrive – a trucking industry magazine – said they would leave the industry if ELDs became mandatory.
According to recent estimates, about three million truck drivers currently do not use ELDs, which means making the switch will take time. Some carrier companies already use a version of the ELD.
These companies have until 2019 to make the transition to the new mandated ELDs, or modify existing devices to comply with FMCSA requirements.
Contact a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a crash caused by a tractor-trailer operator? If you are dealing with the aftermath of a devastating truck accident, your first step should be to call an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer.
These are complex cases that demand knowledgeable legal counsel. Your Florida truck accident lawyer can tell you what you need to know about your case and the path going forward to getting the compensation you deserve.