In December of this year, a new law is scheduled to go into effect that relates, in part, to increasing the safety of the highways for all motorists. There are several large trucking companies that support the new law, saying it can help reduce the risk of a serious truck accident. The new law would affect truckers in every state, including Pennsylvania.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that the installation of electronic logging devices will allow both drivers and companies to assess the hours that a trucker has driven more accurately and quickly than the paper logs that are currently in use. The new logs will also eliminate the possibility of inaccuracies in these records, which has proved to be problematic in the past. These electronic devices record the numbers of hours in operation, distance traveled and location of the trucks at all times without the need to contact individual drivers. Some devices may also include more data, depending on the type of unit selected.
While there are many trucking companies that are in favor of the new monitoring as they believe it will reduce the risk of an accident caused by a sleep-deprived driver, other companies are advocating for a delay in the required implementation. They claim that the new requirement will create an economic hardship. There is currently a bill in a federal house subcommittee that would delay the rule for a further 24 months to allow for the smaller companies to obtain the equipment for their fleet.
Two trucking owners have expressed dismay at the possibility of the rule being delayed. It is estimated that approximately 26 lives could be saved yearly if tired truckers are not on the roads. It is unknown at this time whether the new bill will be passed and the requirement for ELDs will be delayed. However, there are many factors that can contribute to a serious truck accident. Pennsylvania families who have suffered serious injures or lost loved ones due to one of these wrecks may have grounds to seek recovery of their monetary damages through the filing of a claim through the civil court system.
Source: dailyitem.com, “Advocates: Delaying device installation in trucking company vehicles could impede safety“, Joe Sylvester, Oct. 17, 2017