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Truckers to install electronic logging devices

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requiring all truckers to install electronic logging devices in their trucks. The FMCSA reports that illegal logbooks are common and often lead to truck inspection citations. Prior to ELDs, truckers could easily misrepresent the number of hours and miles they had driven in the paper trucking logs. Now, ELDs will monitor truckers' hours and miles, thereby ensuring increased compliance with the Hours of Service regulations.

The Hours of Service regulations require drivers of commercial trucks to drive a maximum of 11 hours a day, followed by at least ten hours of rest. Many truckers who are paid by the mile, not by the hour, are tempted to falsify records so they can continue to drive beyond the 11 hours because their 11-hour days often consist of activities that do not accrue income, such as waiting in traffic or at loading docks. They also may be offered bonuses for getting deliveries done by a certain time.

However, sleep-deprived drivers can cause dangerous trucking accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is the cause of approximately 100,000 police-reported crashes each year. Commercial truck drivers are more likely to drive drowsy and to have sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, which may cause drivers to become drowsy when driving, especially when they are traveling long distances.

The ELDs will monitor truck drivers' hours and miles, keeping the driver aware of how much time is left in their work day. Drivers will be required to take breaks every eight hours and will not be allowed to drive more than 11 hours a day. According to the FMCSA, the ELD rule will facilitate easier, more accurate hours of service recording, thereby helping to prevent truck accidents attributable to truck driver fatigue. Those who do not comply with the rule may receive fines of up to $500 per day.

Source: wearecentralpa.com, "Truckers moving towards electronic logs," December 26, 2017

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