George R. Tucker, Attorney at Law George R. Tucker, Attorney at Law
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Trucker ELD rules to be enforced in April

In the ongoing efforts to regulate trucker service hours, the U.S. Department of Transportation has mandated the use of electronic logging devices. Under previous law, truckers were able to track the hours they had spent on the road with paper records. The shift to electronic logging is intended to simplify record keeping and enforcement. These rules are relevant to all Louisiana motorists as they are intended to prevent fatigued drivers from operating beyond what the hours of service regulations allow.

Originally, the new ELD requirements were mandated to begin on December 18, 2017. Under the initial rule, non-compliant drivers would be removed from service for 10 hours. During that 10-hour period, the driver would not be able to operate their vehicle or complete their load. The 10-hour suspension is a serious consequence in an industry that is built around timely delivery. Once the 10-hour window is up the driver is allowed to proceed to the final destination and deliver the load. That driver would be barred from beginning a new trip until they meet the ELD requirement.

However, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced late last year that they would not begin issuing the 10-hour penalties until April 1, 2018. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also announced that they would not penalize carriers' compliance scores during the period prior to the start date.

Regulators are hopeful that the ELD mandate will reduce fatigued driving by making hours of service tracking easier for drivers. An individual injured in a vehicle crash caused by a fatigued driver may have a claim for damages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law could help that victim recover those damages through settlement negotiations or by filing a lawsuit and taking the case before a jury.

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