Since December 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has required commercial truck drivers to record their duty status through electronic logging devices. According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, FMCSA is allowing for a period of “soft enforcement” of the mandate until April 1. This is important for those truckers in Oklahoma who might still be operating with paper logs.
FMCSA has stated that it will not issue out-of-service orders before April 1. Furthermore, the administration will not lower drivers’ Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores because of ELD violations until the period is up. Livestock and agricultural haulers have until June 18 to comply. FMCSA inspectors continue to note violations, but out of all inspected drivers, only 4 percent have been cited for non-compliance so far.
Starting April 1, all truckers who are cited for non-compliance with the ELD mandate will be forced to remain off duty for 10 service hours. After that 10-hour period, drivers can then return to work and make a delivery, provided that they have a paper log. However, the FMCSA will require that the driver have an ELD installed before the next trip.
ELDs may prove to be beneficial whenever there’s a truck accident. This is because victims who believe that trucker fatigue is to blame for their injuries can refer to those records when building up a case. Victims may not be able to do this alone, however. An accident attorney can step in, evaluate the claim, make sure the victim did not contribute to the accident and hire investigators to assist.
Investigators may be able to show that the trucker was working over the prescribed service hours limit and thus putting others in danger. The attorney can then negotiate for a settlement with the trucking company’s own team of lawyers.