Richmond, VA-Some of the country’s larger trucking companies the utilize electronic log books, but a high number of trucking companies, especially smaller ones, rely on their drivers to be honest about the hours they are working, and whether they are fully complying with federal hours of service regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a rule last week would require interstate commercial trucking a bus companies to utilize electronic logs books to assure drivers are complying with federal hours-of-service regulations.
Having an electronic log book would make it more difficult for drivers to misrepresent their driving hours and thereby save approximately 20 lives and prevent injuries to 434 people each year, Trucking Info.com reported.
The proposed rule would protect the driver’s privacy by only giving the FMCSA and law enforcement access to data recorded by the electronic log books during road-side inspections, compliance reviews and post-accident investigations.
The rule will also protect drivers from harassment by levying an $11,000 fine on a motor carrier that encourages a driver to violate hours-of-service rules or work when they are too sick or unable to.
A recent accident which occurred in Illinois serves as a good example of how an electronic log book could be improve road safety.
Last month, a truck driver plowed into two people who had stopped along an Illinois freeway to help a stranded trucker. A toll way worker and a state trooper were both in their vehicles when a tractor-trailer slammed into them and the disabled tractor-trailer.
The toll way worker was killed instantly, and the Illinois state trooper was seriously injured and was put into a medically induced coma for over two weeks. The deceased man left behind a wife and two kids. The state trooper, who is married, will have a long road to recovery.
The truck driver who caused the tragic accident admitted to police that he had only 3.5 hours of sleep before driving over 12 consecutive hours; his work day began at 8 a.m. and the accident occurred after 9 p.m. Federal regulations cap the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel at 11 hours in a 24 hour period.
In addition to being charged with driving while impaired or fatigued, the truck driver was charged with a four counts of falsifying his driver log book.
Driver log books can provide important information to police and federal regulators in the wake of a devastating accident. These log books can provide key evidence in truck accident investigations, but as you can see some drivers falsify their books to cover up dangerous driving habits.
An electronic log book would not only be beneficial to federal regulators and law enforcement agencies, but would also be provide valuable information to Virginia truck accident attorneys who represent accident victims who are injured or those who have lost a loved one. The information gleaned from these log books can assure truck accident victims get the compensation they need.