Federal Body Makes Electronic Logs Required for Commercial Drivers
After many years of debating the issue, and long after the technology had been developed and tested to facilitate the safety feature, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has updated its laws on commercial truck driving laws to mandate that drivers use electronic logging devices to track their time on the road and distance traveled. This change in the law should not only serve to protect other drivers from fatigued truckers, but should protect truck drivers from being coerced by their employers into working shifts longer than what is legal or safe.
Commercial truck drivers have long been required to track the number of hours they work in a given shift. It was in 1938 when drivers first began keeping paper logs. Drivers have since been obligated to maintain a log, noting the start and end times of shifts, rest breaks, meal breaks, and the number of miles covered during each period. These logs are one of the few ways that the FMCSA has to track whether or not drivers are in compliance with important hours of service rules, which bar long-haul drivers from being behind the wheel over 11 hours in any 24-hour period, and mandate rest and sleep periods. These rules are critical to ensuring that drivers do not attempt to drive while excessively fatigued in order to keep up with employer demands. However, paper logs have always been an inherently flawed enforcement mechanism due to how easily they can be falsified. Electronic logs offer a much more reliable means of ensuring the length of a driver’s shift has not gone over federal limits.
In order to comply with the new law, electronic logging devices must connect to the truck’s computer, enabling the device to track a driver’s shift as soon as the driver starts moving. The devices make note of the truck’s GPS location throughout the day, to enable compliance officers with a secondary way of ensuring that the logs have not been manipulated in any way. The device will automatically record all stops and starts and the speed at which the driver is traveling. The devices must be able to transmit data via Bluetooth, USB, or wirelessly, and must be readable by an officer who pulls that driver over.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident with a semi, tractor-trailer, or other large truck in Kentucky, ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering by contacting the experienced and dedicated Central Kentucky truck accident attorneys at Davis & Haymond for a consultation on your case, in Richmond at 859-624-3380, and in Irvine at 606-726-9991.