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Recording truckers' hours of service could go electronic

Too often, Pennsylvanians' lives are put at risk when truck drivers violate hours-of-service regulations and drive too long without rest. To protect us from truck driver fatigue, federal regulations require the operators of large commercial vehicles to keep detailed driving records.

However, the typical paper method of keeping these logs makes cheating all too easy. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration intends to implement a new electronic system for recording bus and truck drivers' hours of service. A proposed rule is expected to reduce the number of truck accidents involving fatigued drivers, as well as prevent drivers from falsifying their logbooks.

Under the proposed regulation, Electronic Logging Devices would be required for bussing and trucking companies. Implementing the ELD system is expected to reduce yearly fatalities by about 20 and injuries by about 435. The FMCSA also believes the new system would result in more accurate logbook data and reduce the number of hours-of-service violations.

Police investigators, regulators and attorneys often have to access truck drivers' logbooks to determine the possible cause of a crash. This process can be complicated, especially if there are holes in the record or if there are discrepancies. In fact, some truck drivers have even been known to keep two separate logs -- a false one and an accurate one.

The new system is expected to streamline crash investigations and regulatory inspections. In particular, an investigator would have an electronic display of the trucker's log to review for any violations.

You can learn more about the legal side of truck accidents at our personal injury website.

Source: Truckinginfo.com, "FMCSA Proposes Electronic Logbook Regulations," March 13, 2014

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