The Trucking Alliance, in October 2014, made a statement about truck drivers’ hours of service rules which included the following:
“The stark reality is that until there’s a way to verify industry compliance it doesn’t matter what the federal government’s hours of service rules are for truck drivers, because truck drivers can simply ignore these federal rules. *
They can choose to drive as many hours as they want to drive, and they do every day, because truck drivers are only required to fill out a paper logbook, writing down their driving time, and paper logbooks are easily falsified.
Enforcement of these federal hours of service rules relies on state commercial vehicle safety agencies to conduct roadside reviews and audits. While these agencies perform well, they are largely underfunded and undermanned to assure the public that truck drivers are obeying the law.
So nobody really knows who is and who is not following these federal hours of service rules because paper logbooks easily allow truck drivers to exceed their maximum number of hours behind the wheel.
That’s why the Alliance prefers a deliberate process in which a 2012 congressional mandate is accelerated to require electronic logging devices in all commercial trucks.Congress actually passed this legislation in its last transportation reauthorization bill, called MAP-21, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is almost two years behind schedule in implementing this critically important law, a measure that will truly improve highway safety. Every effort should be made to urge the Department of Transportation to accelerate the timeframe for implementing the electronic logging device law, sooner than later.
These electronic logging devices will record driving data that won’t lie. Technology will assure compliance with current rules and also provide objective data to determine how many hours of driving time for truck drivers should be allowed.
Additionally, the Alliance believes that other safety measures can do as much to reduce the number of accidents involving commercial truck drivers and motorists as these hours of service rules. For example, we support another congressional mandate passed in 2012 – to create a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse, which will help identify people who have previously tested positive on a drug and alcohol exam to become a truck driver, as well as related legislation now pending before Congress that will recognize even more effective methods to identify lifestyle drug abusers and keep them out of trucks.
The Alliance also supports speed governors on commercial trucks, an increase in the minimum insurance level for trucking companies and incentives to adopt other commercial safety technologies to reduce accidents on our nation’s highways. These measures will help ensure fewer accidents and safer highways for all Americans.”
Lane Chandler Kidd, Managing Director
October 16, 2014
* We addressed these issues as they related to our crash in a previous post: http://annaleahmary.com/2014/08/law-enforcement-with-justice-for-all-balancing-truth-love/
Also, here is an update on Electronic Logging Devices from September 2014: http://annaleahmary.com/2014/09/update-on-electronic-logging-devices/