West Virginia truck drivers may want to know that the U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a federal mandate that requires most truck operators to use electronic logging devices to keep track of hours of service status. The mandate will become effective on Dec. 18, 2017, and truckers who are currently required to use paper logs are required to transition to ELDs by that date. Exempt from the requirement are pre-model year 2000 trucks.
The mandate was first issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2010. However, it did not survive a court challenge on privacy and other grounds. In response, the safety agency retooled the regulation.
Once again, a lawsuit was filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association on similar grounds. This time the appellate court upheld the mandate, and it also disagreed with the OOIDA’s assertion that the revised rule did not adhere to the ELD mandate standards established by Congress. While the plaintiff still has the option of appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, the FMCSA intends to carry out its objective in a timely manner.
The purpose of hours of service and rest regulations is to reduce the number of accidents that are caused by truck driver fatigue. Occupants of other vehicles that are in collisions that are caused by a truck driver who has nodded off behind the wheel due to not taking the required breaks often sustain catastrophic injuries that require lengthy hospitalization. They may want to have the assistance of an attorney in filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for these and other losses from the negligent driver.