New Government Rule: Bus and Truck Drivers Must Electronically Record Hours
Dec 10, 2015 Washington – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a new rule aimed at enforcing regulations to prevent driver fatigue. Commercial truck and bus drivers must now electronically record all their hours behind the wheel.
Electronic devices are to be installed in the vehicles to automatically record driving time by monitoring engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information. This automated technology will bring logging records into the modern age, and it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that puts lives at risk. Since 1938, drivers have been required to keep paper logs of their driving hours. Investigators and safety advocates have long been concerned that it’s been too easy for drivers to change the logs or keep two different sets of records to evade restrictions on hours.
In the past, efforts to require electronic logs that are more difficult to tamper with have been opposed by drivers who own their own vehicles or small fleets. The drivers argue that the companies that hire them to haul freight will be able to access their electronic logs and pressure drivers who haven’t reached their limit of legally-allowed hours to stay on the road even if they want to rest.
However, the safety administration estimates that the electronic devices will provide a net savings of $1 billion a year, 26 lives will be saved each year, and 562 injuries will be prevented each year. The rule also contains provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by the devices.
The rule goes into effect February 2016. Companies have 2 years after that to start using the devices. Companies that have previously installed devices that meet current standards but don’t meet the new requirements can continue to use them for 4 years.
Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION
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Original article source: New Gov’t Rule: 3 million truck, bus drivers must electronically record hours behind wheel