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Personal Injury Law Blog

What truckers need to know about required electronic driving logs

It seems like a week rarely passes without news of a horrific crash involving a semi-truck. There are a number of reasons for this, including driver fatigue, the risk of driving such a large vehicle and pressure to drive in inclement weather. In order to mitigate the frequency of such accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has mandated that truckers should utilize an electronic logging device.

Here are a few things truckers and other drivers should know about this change.

Implementation will be gradual

Upon announcing the new regulation, the FMCSA also provided a timeline that specified the deadlines for expected implementation. According to the timeline, December 18 of this year is the compliance date. Throughout the transition, the agency will promote general awareness of the changes and make efforts to inform all truck drivers of what to expect and how to ensure compliance.

ELDs need approval

Trucker drivers must install an ELD that is on the list approved by the FMSCA, certified and registered. Drivers who previously used automatic onboard recording devices may continue using these systems over the course of a four-year transition. The end result will be a universally implemented ELD system that tracks the hours each trucker is driving and prevents dangerous overworking that increases the chances of collisions.

Training will be available

The FMSCA plans to provide educational information on the new ELD requirements for truck drivers as well as implementation partners who will need to be familiar with the systems. Training for law enforcement will include instruction in how to detect signs of tampering, and truckers will receive training to properly use the new ELD systems. The FMSCA is continuously developing materials to facilitate the transition and ensure that it improves the safety of everybody on the road.

New ELD requirements may go a long way in reducing the number of collisions involving semi-trucks, but victims of such accidents should understand their options. A lawyer can provide more information.