Electronic Logging Devices in Commercial Truck and Bus Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made a proposal that would require commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their vehicles.  The proposal is designed to improve compliance with the safety rules that dictate the number of hours a driver can work.

In interstate truck and bus crashes, the drivers often exceed the limits on work hours.  According to FMCSA, impairment, including fatigue, was a factor in more than 12 percent of the 129,120 total crashes that involved large trucks or buses in 2012.  The proposed rule is expected to prevent approximately 20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year for an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million.

Sometimes drivers or their employers alter paper logbooks or keep a separate set of books, thereby concealing their driving practices from inspectors.  The use of ELDs would make it increasingly difficult for drivers to misrepresent their hours and would help reduce crashes by fatigued drivers.

Safety advocates have been pushing for ELDs for some time, and although it can take months or even years before proposed regulations such as this are made final, it is a necessary step for safety advancement.  The use of these electronic logging devices should reduce the number of fatigued truck drivers on the roadway.  That will go a long way in protecting our roadways.

If you need more information on this subject, contact Boyd Newton at 404-593-2630 or by e-mail at boyd@boydnewtonlaw.com

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