Commercial truck and bus drivers will soon be required to switch their hours-of-service record keeping from paper to electronic logging devices. The government said the new rule is designed to improve roadway safety by employing technology to prevent driver fatigue.
Drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records must adopt electronic logging devices (ELDs) within two years.
“We certainly think this is going to improve companies that have been trying to skirt the law and running multiple paper logs,” said Matt Hart, executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association.
In three crashes across the Chicago area that killed seven people since 2013, truck drivers were charged with causing the crashes after exceeding their hours and falsifying their books.
“We support anything that's going to add to a safer environment for both our trucks and for the cars that share the roadways,” Hart said.
The ELDs will measure truck drivers’ hours-of-service by the minute. The government said approximately three million drivers will be impacted.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates the devices will save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial vehicles.
However, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said it is interested to learn the specifics on how the agency intends to deal with the issue of harassment of drivers’ working hours.
The FMCSA said the new rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs.