Federal and state highway safety enforcement have placed a deadline for December 2017 to have every truck in the nation equipped with electronic logs. Although the law will permit the trucks to remain on the highways until April 2018, those found without the devices will be heavily fined. Opponents say the requirements cause an undue burden on small trucking operations while proponents argue the devices will save lives.
About Electronic Logbooks and Trucking Safety
The average long-haul truck driver works 70 hours every eight days. The hours are recorded in the log books that every truck driver must keep. However, in keeping paper records, there are ways to falsify the information so that a driver can work more hours. Truck drivers paid by the mile have an incentive to lie on their logs, resulting in tired truckers and accidents.
Electronic logs operate using a GPS transponder that records where the truck is and whether it is moving or idling. The electronic logs prevent falsifying information with the amount of time the truck is in operation. There is little doubt that the device will reduce illegal operation of the trucks. This will reduce the rate of tired drivers on the road. In turn, the accidents and fatalities will drop.
Small Trucking Companies Resist Electronic Logs
Small trucking companies argue that electronic logs will cost too much and fail to provide the results proponents claim. The cost is about $1000 per unit plus a $40 fee per month for operation. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, electronic logs will save 26 lives each year. Small trucking companies comprise nearly half of the one million trucks on the highways.
Another argument presented by opponents is that the increased costs will force many owner-operators, such as small trucking firms, out of the industry. Most owner-operators have more experience than other truck drivers, therefore the loss of these drivers will add to the inexperienced drivers on the road. This loss will offset the reductions saved by electronic log books.
Cherry Hill Truck Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Those Injured by Fatigued Truck Driving
Electronic logs may make litigating against big trucks easier as the books will provide a sure record of the truck location, which may help when proving responsibility. Anyone involved in an accident with a big truck should contact the Cherry Hill truck accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law today for a free consultation. Contact us online or call today at 856-414-0010. We serve clients throughout Cherry Hill, New Jersey and the areas in the South Jersey area.