Under federal regulations, trucks can have a maximum weight limit of 80,000 pounds. With such weight, trucks can cause catastrophic and devastating accidents. Although there are strict regulations regarding when and under what conditions a truck driver can work, these rules are difficult to enforce. Because of this, a new federal mandate requires electronic logging devices be used to better track truck driver behavior, but many truck drivers are unhappy with the upgrade.
Previously, most truckers recorded their driving time in handwritten logs. However, handwritten logs make it easy for truck drivers to lie about their driving time. Federal regulations dictate how long truck drivers can work continuously to help combat fatigued driving, but with drivers left to track their own driving time, it is very difficult to police these regulations.
Electronic logging devices or ELDs are small black boxes, similar to the ones on airplanes, that will record a truck driver’s miles, hours, personal information, and location at all times. This gives federal regulators accurate and real time data about working hour violators.
Some truck drivers believe the ELDs will make their jobs more difficult, but there is little sympathy for their concerns. Protesters in Baytown don’t like how the electronic devices will track their working hours. They will now have to abide by working hour regulations because the electronic logs cannot be altered. Currently, some truckers regularly drive longer than the maximum 11-hour working day set by federal regulations without suffering any consequences.
Driving a truck is a huge responsibility because the vehicles have the potential to cause catastrophic damage. Truckers mainly oppose ELDs because it will keep them honest, and this is irresponsible. Both truck drivers and the companies that employ them are responsible for ensuring all trucking regulations are followed. Working hour violations usually arise when trucking companies put tremendous pressure on drivers to make tight deadlines, but profits should never be put over the safety of people.
Fatigued driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving. Not only are tired drivers putting themselves in danger, they are also putting everyone else on the roadway in danger.