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New Electronic Trucking Log Requirements

Rick Plezia January 18, 2016 Personal Injury

Last month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced new rules that will take effect in February 2016 requiring all commercial truck drivers to log their driving hours electronically in a Trucking Log. The new electronic logs will replace the system of paper logs that has been in effect since 1938. This measure will save more than $1 billion in government paperwork and bureaucracy, but it should have other benefits, as well.

While the new regulation will take effect next month, trucking companies will have two years to comply with the need for such electronic equipment. A number of companies have installed electronic equipment in their trucks to date, but some may not comply with the technical requirements of the new law; those companies will have four years to comply and meet any technical requirements.

Trucking Log Safety Law Enacted To Precent Truck Accidents

The hope among safety officials at the federal and state levels is that the new regulations will result in a significant reduction in the number of accidents caused by drivers who are fatigued. Basically, any driver who is currently required to keep paper logs for more than seven days during any 30-day period on the road will have to transition to the electronic log system.

The FMCSA is estimating that the new rule will directly prevent more than 550 injuries and at least 25 deaths per year and will save nearly $400 million in safety costs to employers. The reason for this is because they believe drivers will find it more difficult to drive more hours than are allowed under current regulations. The total cost to the trucking companies is expected to be between $200 and $800 per truck.

The only unfortunate aspect to the new regulations is that they won’t apply to everyone. For example, trucks that are older than model year 2000 will be exempt from the regulations.

It took a long time to implement this new rule. When Congress passed a law ordering the new rule, they initially set October 1, 2013 as the deadline, but there was a lot of opposition to the rule, not the least of which came from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which challenged the rule based on the idea that the technology is currently unproven.

Texas Attorneys For Trucking Accidents

For someone who has been injured in an accident with a large truck, an electronic trucking log will be one very important source of information for a Trucking Accident Attorney, like those at Richard J. Plezia and Associates, to use in your case. The new rule will make it much harder for a truck driver or a trucking company to manipulate or alter the information in the log and that can help make sure those responsible are held accountable.