Truck drivers in Oklahoma often work long hours in order to get the goods they are carrying to their destinations as quickly as possible. However, when this amounts to drowsy driving, this is a serious safety issue. To that end, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recently issued a new rule that will affect approximately three million commercial truck and bus operators. Under the new rule, these drivers must electronically record the number of hours they spend on the road.
Since 1938, paper logs were required. However, paper logs can be easily changed in an attempt to avoid adhering to federally-mandated restrictions. With electronic logging devices, these records — including information about how long an vehicle has been running and how far the vehicle has traveled — can be automatically recorded and are more difficult to change. This can help safety inspectors and other agency officials identify instances in which federal laws and regulations have been violated.
Administration officials estimate that moving to a system of electronic logging will save $1 billion annually. In addition, it is estimated that over 25 lives may be saved and over 560 injuries could be prevented annually through electronic logging.
The federal government regulates how long truckers can be on the road and when they are required to take rest breaks to keep the public safe. If a truck driver is too sleepy to safely operate his or her vehicle, devastating car accidents can occur. This is especially true considering the size and weight of a commercial truck, which easily outstrips that of a standard passenger vehicle. Drowsy driving is a serious issue for any driver. Therefore the federal government has taken steps to address this issue and keep our roads safe.
Source: ABC 6, “New rule: Truck drivers must electronically record their hours,” Dec. 15, 2015
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