Rule will require driver hours to be tracked electronically

Bus and truck drivers in Louisiana and around the country will be required to use electronic devices to keep track of the amount of hours they spend behind the wheel under a new rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Rules and regulations limiting the amount of time that drivers can work without rest are in place to reduce the number of truck accidents involving fatigued drivers.

Truck drivers and truck operators have relied on paper logs to record the amount of hours worked by drivers since 1938, but accident investigators have complained that such logs are easily manipulated. The new rule calls for the use of sophisticated electronic vehicle monitoring systems that should make tampering far more difficult. The devices will record the position and movement of buses and trucks as well as the amount of miles they have covered and the length of time that their engines have been running.

Logistics companies and many of the nation's 3 million truck and bus drivers oppose the new regulation, and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a lawsuit seeking to block its implementation. The FMCSA says that the rule could save up to $1 billion each year due to reduced paperwork costs and prevent about 26 road users from losing their lives in truck accidents annually. Truck owners will be given two years to have the new technology installed and working.

Drowsy driving accidents often occur at high speeds and can be extremely serious, and this is particularly true when a bus or semi-tractor trailer is involved. Those injured in these types of accidents may want to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney in pursuing compensation from the responsible parties.

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