California Congressman Doug LaMalfa has signed on to support a bill to delay the requirement for equipping all tractor-trailers with hour-logging software.
This week congress introduced a bill to delay the requirement for equipping all tractor-trailers with hour-logging software. Without it, sleep-deprived truck drivers may put everyone on the roads at risk. It's time to pressure Congress to scrap the bill before more lives are lost.
HICKORY, NC (August 2017) In 2014, comedian Tracy Morgan was involved in a terrible automobile accident when a tractor-trailer truck plowed into Morgan's limo, killing comedian James McNair and badly injuring Morgan and the other passengers. It soon became clear that the truck driver had not slept in more than 24 hours, and that his exhaustion was the reason for the crash.
Truckers driving on too little or no sleep have always been a major safety concern for anyone on the road, but this high-profile accident put the issue front and center. For many years, truckers have filled out paper logs to record their hours driving. In some instances, times have been inaccurately reported, allowing sleep-deprived truckers to go undetected. But new ELD (electronic logging device) systems are electronic and can accurately monitor truck driver activity. These devices keep truckers accountable and force them to pull off the road when they reach their federally mandated driving limit.
However, this week Texas Republican Representative Brian Babin filed a bill to delay the nationwide ELD requirements for truckers for two more years, until December 2019. (Read more about it here.) The previous deadline was December 2017.
This delay is gravely concerning for all drivers sharing the road with large trucks. Everyone knows that if you're in an accident involving a semi-truck, the odds for survival are stacked against you. For safety's sake, this regulation needs to go into effect sooner rather than later.
Some truck drivers passionately oppose the idea of using this new software. They cite existing logistical complaints like waiting for hours in lines to load or unload; the daily scramble to find parking spaces; and reaching their driving limit just before the delivery has been made. Many of these drivers also blame the 14-hour rule (how long truckers can work before taking a break) stating that it's impossible to comply.
"It's true that that truckers deal with difficult driving regulations, but that is a separate issue altogether," says Anthony Brooks, co-owner along with Andrew DeHart of Brooks-DeHart Furniture Xpress, a Hickory, NC based trucking company. "If truckers want to change the number of hours they are allowed to be on the road, then they should focus on that issue. ELog devices simply keep drivers accountable, making the roads a safer place to drive."
"The bottom line: if Congress manages to delay these new regulations it will keep the roads more dangerous for everyone," adds co-owner Andrew DeHart. "When drivers are held accountable, they will get the rest they need and exhaustion-related accidents will decrease. Additionally, the companies and drivers who have already complied with the new regulations are now getting better insurance rates than those still using paper logs."
While most people outside of the trucking industry may not be aware of the controversial move from paper logs to more reliable E-devices, this transition is an important safety issue that all automobile drivers—and any citizen concerned about safer driving regulations—should be aware of. Everyone should be concerned about Congress' foot dragging. When truckers are able to bend the rules of operation and get away with it, wrecks happen and people die.
If you are concerned about worn out truckers driving for days at a time without sleep, take action today. Call your representatives today and tell them not to delay on these regulations. This software has the potential to save a lot of lives.
Exhausted truckers put themselves and innocent people at risk. ELDs will help save many lives by ensuring that truckers aren't pushed to their limits while operating heavy, dangerous machinery. There is no reason to delay this life-saving mandate. Everyone's safety is on the line, so hopefully Congress will make the right decision.
To contact your representative today, visit this link: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/