While there are strict regulations controlling the number of hours commercial truck drivers are permitted to drive each day, driver’s logs are the primary method to enforce these regulations. However, by simply falsifying the logs, some truck drivers are able to easily subvert these regulations. Considering that the more a trucker drives the more money he makes, the incentives to exceed permitted driving hours and falsify logs is certainly present in the trucking industry.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is attempting to tighten enforcement of regulations limiting permitted driving hours by requiring all long-haul truck companies to install electronic on board recorders in their tractor-trailers to accurately track truck drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service limits. With every move being monitored, the incentives to falsify the hours actually behind the wheel would be greatly reduced.
This would go a long way in improving safety on our roadways. Many of the primary causes of 18 wheeler and semi-truck accidents, such as fatigue, drug use, and driver inattention, are directly linked to excessive hours behind the wheel by commercial truck drivers. Better enforcement of the hours drivers are permitted on the road can only have a positive effect on the safety of drivers. Moreover, when accidents do occur, the on board records may provide vital evidence as to the cause of the accidents.
Some trucking companies, such as National, Maverick USA, J.B. Hunt, Knight Transportation and U.S. Express Enterprise, have already installed electronic on board recorders on their trucks. Let’s hope the FMCSA passes the regulation to force other trucking companies to do what is right. To read more about this proposed regulation, click here.