To improve safety in the trucking industry and to reduce the number of devastating accidents caused by driver fatigue, truckers will be required to install electronic monitors that track their time on the road. Federal and state officials have given truckers a deadline of December to install the device. While some trucking companies believe that the monitors will save money and improve safety, others are concerned that the cost to install and maintain the device will be a financial burden and that truck drivers may see their income drop.
According to the Chief Operating Officer for the Independent Drivers Association, this new requirement may cause smaller carriers to leave the business. As some truck drivers get paid by the mile, the electronic tracking of their miles can affect their income. In an industry that already has a high turnover rate, the device requirement may cause the smaller trucking companies to lose drivers. In the United States, smaller, owner-operated fleets account for approximately half of the one million commercial trucks on the road today.
While truck drivers are not supposed to drive more than 11 hours in a 14-hour on-duty shift, drivers are often tempted to fudge the information they put in their logs, saying that deliveries happened faster they actually did. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driving-log violations among truck drivers account for the largest percentage of citations issues by police officers during truck inspections, accounting for 17% of citations. Unfortunately, even a small number of falsified driving logs can equal hundreds of hours of unlawful driving.
Penalties for Failing to Install Monitors
Federal and state law enforcement agencies recognize the concerns that some trucking companies, and truck drivers, have about the electronic monitors. While they will begin issuing fines to truckers who do not have electronic logs installed by December, they will hold off on forcing the trucks off the road until April. The amount of the fines will vary by state.
The President of Truline Corp, a larger truck company based out of Las Vegas, said electronic logs have been installed in almost all of the company’s 220 trucks. Since converting to the new system, there has been a 12% drop in weekly miles traveled. He is hopeful that this will be offset by higher shipping rates. For this to work, he said, everyone in the trucking industry needs to be compliant. Ideally, it will make the industry safer and more profitable.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Truck Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, you are urged to contact the highly qualified Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. If the truck driver had exceeded the maximum hours of service or was distracted while driving, we will hold that person accountable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.