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Electronic logging for truck drivers will soon be required

Colorado truck drivers, carriers and shippers will soon have a new regulation with which they will need to comply. The rule will make carriers, shippers and brokers install electronic logging devices on their fleets rather than allow commercial drivers to use handwritten logbooks.

Since 1938, truck drivers have had to keep logs of their hours of service. This is to prevent them from operating beyond the allowed hours under federal law. The issue with handwritten logbooks is that they are susceptible to alteration in order to evade federal laws. Some drivers keep two sets of books, and others alter entries they have already made.

In order to stop this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, or FMCSA, passed the new law, which will go into effect on Jan. 29, 2016. The industry will need to fully implement the devices within two years. Dump trucks and those manufactured before the year 2000 will be excluded. The devices automatically log hours by sensing when the engine is running and how many miles are actually driven, among other things. The FMCSA believes that the use of the devices will prevent drivers from skirting the federal regulations.

Federal trucking regulations are in place because trucks have the potential of causing catastrophic motor vehicle accidents due to their weight and size. Truck drivers are sometimes pressured by their employers to drive beyond the allowable limits in order to make deliveries on time. When truckers do so and end up driving fatigued, they risk the lives of themselves and others around them. In many truck accident cases, victims are left with permanently disabling conditions. Individuals who are seriously injured in a crash caused by a truck driver's negligence may want to meet with a personal injury attorney.

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