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New Laws Change Driver Logging Regulations

New Laws Change Driver Logging Regulations
Last Thursday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued the most awaited regulation, concerning the logging mechanism in the trucking industry. According to the new rule, approximately 3 million commercial truck and bus drivers will have to use electronic devices to log-in their working hours. The electronic sign-in will help the driver keep accurate records of their hours behind the wheel.
This latest government initiative will help the drivers and the fleet companies combat the woes of driver fatigue, which can result in safety incidents and hazards. The regulation will be enforced by the authorities and each transportation and logistic provider and company will have to work in accordance with it.

Since 1938, drivers were required to keep paper records of their working hours, but several safety incident reporters and accident investigators have argued that it is quite easy to fake or duplicate records on paper and to log in a different time to avoid restrictions on logged hours. Paper records were being tampered with and it was difficult for the authorities to find a set of data, which reflected accurate and systematic management of driver work history.

Electronic devices will eliminate the need for paper logs and will be able to automatically record the working hours by evaluating and monitoring the active engine hours, the movement of the truck, miles travelled and the destination information.

Regarding the new automated initiative, Anthony Fox, Transportation Secretary U.S., said in his statement, “This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.”

However, not everyone is pleased by the new development. Drivers, who own their own trucks or a small, manageable fleet company, argue that electronic logging devices are difficult to operate and maintain. Their presented viewpoint on the subject is that by utilizing the electronic data, the parent company will force the driver to complete their mile limit and pressure them into logging longer hours to stay on the road and complete their assignments, even if they are inclined towards resting.

The Owner-Operator Independent Driver’s Association has sued the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and petitioned it to revoke the law. In contrast to that, the FMCSA is hopeful that the new law will bring about positive changes in the transportation industry. It estimates that the new rule will allow the fleet companies to have a net savings of $1 billion in a year, due to elimination of unnecessary paperwork.

Moreover, they deduce that approximately 26 lives and 562 injuries will be avoided if the technical and procedural provisions are followed correctly. The rule is basically designed to safeguard drivers from any harassment, extracted from the information in the electronic logging devices. Moreover, the rule also states that drivers from Canada and Mexico will also be required to use electronic logs if they are driving on American highways.

Following the publication of the new law, Bill Graves, president of the American Trucking Associations, said, “This regulation will change the trucking industry for the better forever.” – See more at:

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