The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on December 10, 2015 a Final Rule that aims to improve safety on roads through a new technology known as “electronic logging devices” (ELDs). Since 1938, hours-of-service (HOS) regulations have been adopted to restrict the amount of time commercial truck and bus drivers spend driving so they do not become fatigued. According to the U.S. Transportation Secretary, the way that the logs have been recorded in the past – by workers writing them down with pencil and paper – has been complicated and almost impossible to verify.
A new automated technology, which is set to be fully implemented in 2017, is being hailed not only by government officials, but also by industry leaders. The president of the nation’s seventh largest Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) fleet stated that the technology makes the industry safer and will increase productivity over time. The Trucking Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, a prominent proponent of safety reform in the freight transportation industry, has long supported the idea of using ELDs to cut down on illegal hours tracked by drivers through falsified paper logs.
According to the FMCSA, the Final Rule will result in an annual net benefit of over one billion dollars, largely by reducing the amount of paperwork that was once required in the industry. More than anything, the technology will give everyone the ability to review driver records and lower violations of federal law. FMCSA also estimates that the full implementation of ELDs will save 26 lives and prevent 563 injuries each year that result from crashes involving large commercial vehicles.
The FMSCA says that the ELD Final Rule:
- Requires commercial truck and bus drivers to adopt ELDs within two years;
- Strictly prohibits commercial driver harassment;
- Sets technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so manufacturers can produce ELDs that comply;
- Establishes new HOS requirements that result in less paperwork.
The Final Rule is not without its opponents. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of appeals for the Seventh Circuit less than 24 hours after the FMCSA made their announcement. OOIDA has had success in the past when challenging proposed ELD advancements.
Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Help Clients Injured in Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, negligent truck drivers will still exist and truck accidents will continue to occur even with advancements in technology. If you, a loved one or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, contact our team of seasoned Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates. We work tirelessly for each one of our clients and their families to ensure that the person or persons who caused them harm are held accountable in more ways than one. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Voorhees, New Jersey so that we can serve our clients throughout the entire region with ease. Call us now at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.