To be compliant with federal laws, several types of commercial drivers – including those who operate semi-trucks and many who drive large buses – must keep a log of the hours they drive. This paper document serves as evidence with regard to the compliance of a driver related to mandatory rest times after that driver has been operating for a specified number of hours in a row. The idea is that the logs will keep drivers honest about when they drive, when they rest, and the overall progression of any trip.
Yet for some time, issues related to the falsification of driving logs or the alteration of records have existed, leading many to question what could be done to avoid these issues related to dishonesty. In many situations, log books that were alleged to have been altered were believed to have been changed after a truck accident took place so that the driver appeared to be compliant with federal safety rules even if that driver was, in fact, in violation of them. Many argued for the mandatory use of electronic monitoring devices of some type which would automatically track a truck’s movements without a driver’s ability to control or alter the results.
Now, more than 29 years since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety petitioned national regulators for such changes, a new law has been passed to require electronic logging devices (“ELDs”) among drivers who are currently required to keep paper logs. The rule in its current form will take effect by December 2017, but drivers of vehicles that were built before 2000 can continue using paper logs and those companies that are currently using a noncompliant form of ELDs will be given until December 2019 to fully comply.
The use of ELDs are designed to prevent forgery of log books while tracking the number of continuous hours a driver operates her vehicle. Though this automatic tracking, experts believe that drivers will be forced to stop and rest as required by federal law, thereby reducing or even eliminating the issue of tired and sleeping truck drivers on America’s roadways. Though this reduction in fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expects 562 injuries and 26 deaths to be avoided annually.
Currently, victims of truck accidents or truck versus car crashes in Arizona are protected by state laws which entitle them to seek relief for their damages. Whether your losses take the form of medical bills, future rehabilitative costs, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering, you may be able to recover financially if a collision affected your life.
To understand your options, you may want to speak with a personal injury attorney in Maricopa County who has experience helping accident victims. The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. will offer you a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation when you call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-6191 and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you were involved in an accident, call us now and let us help you understand your legal options including whether you have a valid claim for relief.
Prior Blog Entry:
Why Bicycle Safety Matters in Phoenix, Even If You Don’t Ride, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 25, 2016.
LONG HAUL, Mandate for electronic logging devices is finally on the books, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Status Report, Vol. 51, No. 2, published February 26, 2016.