FMCSA issues final rule on electronic logging devices

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the number of hours a truck driver may work to reduce the risk of truck accidents. To enforce this, each driver must maintain a daily log book. Because paper log books are too easily adjusted, the agency has been developing requirements for electronic logging devices, or ELDs. Now, the FMCSA has published the final rule, which outlines device specifics and their use.

The FMCSA acknowledges that some trucking companies harass their drivers by pressuring them to violate mandated hours of service. Once the driver has entered a status into an ELD, it cannot be modified, although some minor edits may be made. In addition, during hours of rest, if an operator is in the truck’s sleeping area, the ELD must be muted so that a dispatcher cannot interrupt the rest period.

When an official pulls over a large commercial vehicle for an inspection, the truck driver must be able to provide the information from the device. This can be done on an electronic display, or the driver could print it out. The ELD must be able to transfer data in two forms. These may either be a combination of Bluetooth® device and flash drive, or email and wireless electronic device.

The hours of service mandates are maximum workday guidelines for trucking companies and operators.  Regardless of how long a driver may legally stay on the road, he or she has the responsibility to find a place to stop and rest immediately if fatigue becomes a problem. An attorney may be able to provide assistance to a person who is injured as a result of a truck collision.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents,” Dec. 10, 2015

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