In a move that was not expected for at least another year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that new regulations requiring truck drivers to keep electronic logs regarding their hours-of-service will be published on September 30 of this year. Once the rule is published, trucking companies will be given a two year grace period in which they must implement the use of electronic logs.
The new regulations are designed to reduce truck driver fatigue, one of the most common contributing factors to many commercial truck accidents. Truck drivers are restricted from driving above a maximum number of hours within given time frames and are required to log the hours they are on the road. Those logs are currently kept on hard copies, but moving them to an electronic system will allow regulators to more easily monitor truck drivers’ hours on the road to ensure they are complying with the hours-of-service rule.
Details About the Electronic Driver Log Regulations
The specifics of the new regulations are as follows:
- Truck drivers who are required to keep paper logs for more 7 out of 30 days on the road must switch to electronic record keeping.
- The estimated cost of switching to electronic record keeping is expected to be anywhere from $200 to $832 per truck.
- A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that electronic record keeping will save $394.8 million annually.
- The FMCSA estimates that the new regulations will prevent 434 injuries and 20 fatalities per year.
Other Trucking Regulations to Be Published As Well
In addition to the new regulations regarding electronic record keeping, the DOT will publish regulations concerning hardware specifications and driver harassment. Once the new regulations are published, a system will be set up in which truck drivers can report carriers who are engaging in driver harassment. Legitimate driver harassment complaints can cause a carrier to be fined up to $11,000.