December 18, 2017
Today is a big day in the trucking world. The new federal ELD mandate takes effect today and requires all truck drivers to use “electronic logging devices” (ELDs), instead of “records of duty status” (RODS), to ensure their compliance with the hours-of-service (HOS) requirements set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
I realize I just used parenthesis three times in the paragraph above, and this may at first sound confusing. But the promised benefits – including to significantly lower the numbers of preventable truck accident injuries and deaths on our roads- are huge. This is tremendous, welcome news for the driving public, truck drivers and motor carriers. It’s a huge step forward to making the roads safer and prevent senseless, avoidable truck accidents.
As a truck accident attorney, a huge number of the more than 300 truck crash cases I have personally litigated over the past two decades involve truckers lying about their hours of service on paper log books, driving fatigued and over hours, and then crashing into other people on the road. The new ELD mandate won’t stop truckers from driving over hours, but it promises to make this much harder.
The ELD mandate was published on December 16, 2015 with the next two years slated as an awareness and transition phase, where ELD use was voluntary.
However, as of today’s “compliance date,” ELD use becomes mandatory.
As the FMCSA, itself, noted in the “Final Rule” of the ELD mandate:
“[A] study concerning the safety benefits of ELD-like devices” “found a significant reduction in the overall crash rate and the preventable crash rate for trucks with ELDs compared to trucks without ELDs.” (Pages 71-72 of the 126-page PDF)
Here are the highlights from the FMCSA’s 2017 “Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents – Frequently Asked Questions” publication: