The FMCSA Imposes New Federal Rule Requiring Truckers to Log Driving Time Electronically

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a new rule to the Federal Register in December 2015 with a new requirement for truck drivers. The mandate requires truck drivers to keep records of their duty status using an electronic logging device (ELD) rather than with traditional paper logs. The new rule won’t take effect until December 2017, giving carriers and truck drivers ample time to comply. While the requirement is expected to save the trucking industry up to $1 billion annually by reducing paperwork costs and is expected to save 26 lives and 526 injuries each year, not everyone in the industry supports the coming change.

What Is an ELD?

An ELD syncs with a vehicle's engine to allow truck drivers to automatically log records of duty status components such as date, time, and location information; vehicle miles; engine hours; and driver identification. The mandate also requires that ELDs be able to transfer data during roadside inspections and generate graph grids of the driver's daily duty status. The new rule will not apply to drivers operating vehicles made prior to the year 2000, drivers in drive-away or tow-away businesses, and drivers who work 8 or fewer days per every 30 working days.

Objections

Despite the expected benefits of the new FMCSA rule,  the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) does not support it. The group filed a petition with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the rule, which OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston called “the most outrageous intrusion into the rights of professional truckers imaginable.” The petition doesn’t state the arguments the OOIDA will use in court; however, the group believes the regulation will not improve highway safety and will create the opposite effect by putting more stress and pressure on truck drivers.

Have You Been Injured in an Accident?

If you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck, the experienced legal team at Steinberg Injury Lawyers is ready to discuss your case and work to get you any compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

 

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