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Electronic Logging to prevent truck crashes, protect drivers

Electronic Logging to prevent truck crashes, protect drivers

It's no secret that tax-related filings create a lot of paperwork, but do you know the second biggest paperwork burden from federal regulations?

If you said, "hours-of-service recordkeeping for interstate truck and bus drivers," then you are correct. But not for long, thanks to a proposed rulemaking from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Last week, FMCSA proposed a rule requiring interstate commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their vehicles. ELDs record a driver's record of service behind the wheel to improve compliance with the safety rules that govern the number of hours a driver can work. The new rule will improve the quality of hours-of-service data and help reduce crashes by fatigued drivers, preventing approximately 20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year for an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million.

Photo of a woman in the cab of a red truck

As Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro said, “By implementing Electronic Logging Devices, we will advance our mission to increase safety and prevent fatigued drivers from getting behind the wheel.”

That's on top of the increased efficiency and significant paperwork reduction ELDs offer.

For the new proposed rule, FMCSA drew on input from a variety of sources including the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, feedback from public listening sessions, and comments filed following an earlier proposed rule. The proposal also meets requirements Congress included in the most recent transportation bill, MAP-21.

Photo of a truck near a port

In addition to improved safety for everyone on our roads and reduced paperwork for drivers and companies, the rule will also:

  • Respect driver privacy by ensuring that electronic logs will only be made available to FMCSA personnel or law enforcement during roadside inspections, compliance reviews, and post-crash investigations; and
  • Protect drivers from harassment by prohibiting driver harassment by a motor carrier owner, establishing a procedure for filing driver harassment complaints, and creating a maximum civil penalty of up to $11,000 for a motor carrier harasses a driver into an hours-of-service violation or fatigued driving situation.

Because we don't want drivers being pressured into operating when fatigued or when they've reached their hours-of-service limit, we think these driver protections are a key feature of the new rule.

With broad support from safety advocates, motor carriers, and members of Congress, DOT is committed to this important step in commercial bus and truck safety. But you don't have to take our word for it; you can see the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Electronic Logging Devices for yourself at www.regulations.gov.

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As a Safety Manager I have no problem with ELD's because we;ve been using them for the last 5 years. My problem is with no one looking at the 4 wheel vehicles on the road that causes most of the accidents. As a Safety Manager and driver for 38 years most truck drivers are the safest drivers on the road and have to always be on the lookout for others talking on the phone,texting or on laptops while driving down the road swerving in and out of lanes. I believe all drivers should go by the HOS but I believe pressure should be taken off truck drivers and put where it belongs on the ones driving the 4 wheeler's that are causing the majority of the problems.

To continue: merging ELD log data and paper log data is an issue nobody has a straight answer for. Merging ELD data with another carriers ELD data is also a mystery. What I do is I use the ELD at job two. Then at the end of shift I transpose the changes of duty status onto my official paper log, after I get my CMV off the road after shift.That way I do not posses 2 log books during the same shift. During a roadside inspection on job two I will have the active ELD. For my previous days I would pull out my paper copies from the paper log book making sure the current day us not started. This is the confusing aspect for drivers working for multiple employers which in this economy is going to be a relevant aspect to compliance.

I use ELD at my second job and am still on paper logs at the first job. The ELD supplier will not put their system in my vehicle at the primary job where I am the driver manager. Even they admit they cannot merge my HOS data between the two carriers with in their own system. They denied providing me service because they were not willing to be a part of me having ELD data at two carriers. I provide copies of paper to my second job and according to my state DOT if the second employer isn't entering the paper info into the ELD that that was THEIR problem. Unfortunately, since they are just filing the paper copies I am certifying my ELD logs without the paper log info from the primary employer.

I love the ease of using the ELD. But the additional features include messaging the driver, while driving down the road. Basically, it is receiving text messages while driving. There seems to be no way to disable messaging while the driver is in 'driving' status. Apparently, it's ok to get a text message that says I have a text message, and then listen to the thing beep till I read it. AND SAFETY IS OKAY WITH THIS!!! Saving paperwork vs the potential accidents--this will be a circus

Do you guys know any phone line to connect me with a DOT department to complain about a broker's harassment?

I absolutely love being on ELogs! I don't have to deal with the headaches of paperwork and it is so much simpler to use because it does all the calculating of your hours for you. It also keeps the motor carrier owners honest. It also helps you to be able to bypass the weigh scales because DOT can access the safety departments of the companies quickly preventing you from losing time having to pull in.

When has our "government" ever done anything like this without causing more problems than existed to begin with??? NEVER!!!!

I believe it's going to make drivers more unsafe trying to beat the clock. It's going cause lose in pay. I've been a owner/operrater for fourteen years and been driving since 1986 and I will probably find a new way of making a living. To much time lost at shippers and recievers that is not paid for. Flatbed freight is not a drop and hook operation.

The new ruling protects the public as well as drivers.

Horse crap ! This is nothing but government intrusion into our lives. I already run legal. Don't need your stupid computer to keep me legal. Be honest, it just makes it easier for you to read and assess miles for taxation :(

Proposing E logs will create more pressure on Drivers and Carrier. someone should propose law in increasing Drivers and Owner operators $ pay which is still the same for last decade No one is thinking about this.Gas price is increasing . Compliance pressure is increasing who wants to drive when they are earning less then then average while driving tractor in bad weather etcccccc there are lot more to discuss rather then wasting time thinking about Elogs. You will see sudden decline in Fatigue and Hours of service violations when pay rate increases... Driving is dangerous job its not person sitting in comfort of office with computer in front of them. if you want make changes remove Brokers increase cago hauling rate and drivers pay.

I started my day at 9am today, unloaded 2 stoppes, now sitting at shipper (Pactiv, Romeoville, IL) going to take 7 hrs to load, have to be in St Louis, Mo at 6am 3/19/14. I have not been able to eat today, now I am stuck at a shipper who does not care. You tell me how ELDs are going to help me

I do not see how ELDs will make us Safer, in fact I believe Elds will make the truck driver more unsafe, because they will have to RACE the clock to get from point A to point B. So now we have to work non stop until we have to take the mandatory 30 minute break. Then non stop until our day ends. How is that safer? I think if ELDs are crammed done our throats, then we should go back to the original HOS. Get the special interest and lobbiest out of our goverment and the FMCSA. 51 percent of the drivers say they will quit when the ELD complient date hits. Is it really worth destoring our economy over ELDs?

This law is unconstitutional.

If DOT was SERIOUS about traffic safety who would also mandate that all non commercial vehicles have a device that does the same, also Mandate that once any vehicle is in gear that text messages would no longer be able to send or receive, and that you could not make a call UNLESS a HANDS FREE DEVICE WAS CONNECTED

I can't wait for this to come into effect. No more pressure me to push a little further. No more midnight "favours". No more cajoling to change my start time so I can work a little later. No more conversations that we "didn't have". We can just go back to driving.

This rule will do little to increase safety. In fact, it only increases reckless driving by forcing drivers to have to race to beat the dadgum clock!!!
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