After years of delay, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finally proposed requiring data recorders to track hours-of-service for over-the-road truckers in an effort to reduce the risk of trucking accidents in Tennessee and elsewhere.
As our Knoxville personal injury lawyers reported late last year on our Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, the feds continue to tweak the hours-of-service rules, which are aimed at preventing fatigued truckers from causing accidents.
But the combination of a pay structure that rewards most over-the-road trucker based on miles traveled, and the fact that hours-of-service compliance is determined by hand-written log books, toll receipts and other so-called documentation, has made a mockery out of the system for decades.
“We cannot protect our roadways when commercial truck and bus companies exceed hours-of-service rules,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This proposal would make our roads safer by ensuring that carriers traveling across state lines are using EOBRs to track the hours their drivers spend behind the wheel.”
The electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) are attached to commercial vehicles and automatically record the number of hours the vehicle spends in operation. A number of carriers, including Schneider National, Maverick USA, J.B. Hunt, Knight Transportation and U.S. Express Enterprise, have already installed the technology.
However, the devices have not been mandated unless a driver or company was caught violating hours-of-service rules. The new proposal would impact 500,000 carriers nationwide.
“This proposal is an important step in our efforts to raise the safety bar for commercial carriers and drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “We believe broader use of EOBRs would give carriers and drivers an effective tool to strengthen their HOS compliance.”
Organizations, including Road Safe America, have long advocated for the devices.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a trucking accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Marysville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.