Dallas, Texas, 07/31/2017 /SubmitPressRelease123/
A number of big truck regulations are in various states of flux because of the transfer of power from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration. And although this is business as usual when a new president takes power, the trucking regulations in question – which include a mandate that requires all truck carriers to install electronic logging devices and a proposal to curb the maximum speed of commercial trucks – could have a direct effect on road safety.
That’s because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has designed these regulations to make the roads safer by installing new technology and by regulating commercial truck driver behavior. Because of this, this is an important issue for all drivers and deserves a closer look to see just where these regulations stand in 2017.
Status of the ELD Mandate
The status of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is important, because if passed, the regulation would require all truck carriers to install ELDs in their trucks.
Currently, all commercial truck drivers are required to manually complete log books that detail the number of hours they have driven and the number of rest periods they have taken each day.
Logbooks maintain a record of the mandatory rest periods that drivers must observe, and they are designed to combat driver fatigue, which is one of the major causes of commercial truck wrecks.
The problem is that some truck drivers manipulate their logbooks and continue to drive beyond the limits imposed by the FMCSA, causing fatigued driving that could lead to devastating accidents.
ELDs would resolve this problem, because they cannot be falsified, and they provide real-time monitoring of driving hours and rest periods.
According to Glostone Trucking Solutions, the ELD mandate has survived a court challenge from a major trucking organization and is expected to go into effect without further obstacles in December of this year. (1)
Status of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
The status of the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is similar to that of the ELD mandate. This mandate would establish a national database for commercial drivers’ drug and alcohol testing information.
Truck carriers would have to register all their drivers and upload test results into the database. This would provide information about any positive tests as well as drivers who have refused to submit to mandatory drug and alcohol tests.
Currently, drivers who test positive for drug or alcohol in one state, can apply for a job in another state without disclosing these results. Carriers have no way to check for positive results, so many of them unknowingly hire drivers who have tested positive for drug or alcohol.
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse would solve that problem and help carriers avoid hiring drug and alcohol offenders, which would make drivers and roads safer.
“The national drug database for commercial drivers is a welcomed regulation that is long overdue,” stated Dallas Truck Wreck attorney Amy Witherite. “It eliminates a huge loophole that prevents truck carriers from obtaining comprehensive information regarding the background of their applicants.”
The FMCSA expects the national drug and alcohol clearinghouse to go into effect January 2020, and so far the Trump Administration has not indicated it will amend or overturn the regulation.
Status of Truck Speed Limiting Device Mandate
The status of the truck speed limiting device mandate is much murkier. This rule would require the installation of a speed-limiting device in all commercial trucks that would limit their speed to 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour.
According to Trucks.com, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) opposes the speed limiter rule because it believes that it would cause an unsafe speed differential between trucks and small cars on the road.
Speed differential refers to a difference in the speed of one vehicle versus another vehicle. The ATA believes that slower trucks would cause problems with cars moving at faster speeds. (2)
Also, the ATA said that the FMCSA has not decided which of the three proposed speeds would work best and why.
Because of this indecision, many truck safety experts believe that the proposal will be significantly reworded or that the new administration will get rid of it and start over.
Steps To Take After A Truck Accident
Big truck regulations such as the ELD mandate and the creation of a national drug and alcohol database could significantly lower the number of truck accidents in the future. But for people who continue to suffer injuries in these wrecks, there are some important steps to take after a truck accident, including reaching out to an experienced law firm such as the team at 1-800-Truck-Wreck.
“I think the most important thing is that truck wreck victims contact a lawyer, if only for a consultation,” stated Amy Witherite. “It’s difficult to have a clear head and to think logically after a truck accident, which is why our firm is so committed to keep life running when you suffer a wreck.”
Eberstein Witherite, LLP
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