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Electronic Logging Devices Become a Reality

Home » Electronic Logging Devices Become a Reality
January 05, 2018
Edward Smith


Electronic logging devices were implemented on trucks nationwide in December. This rule has met with widespread trucker opposition in recent months. However, fatigued truck drivers are major reason accidents happen.

Electronic Logging Device Rule

The ELD mandate springs from a passage of the MAP-21 bill enacted by Congress in 2012. The bill, which also involved highway funding, mandated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to devise a plan to begin electronic monitoring of buses and large trucks. The ELD system is expected to monitor driver hours of service, replacing paper logs. The ELDs are:

  • able to electronically record hours of service,
  • be integrated with the truck engine and
  • transmit data to a manager in real-time to ensure compliance of hours of service rules.

It is hoped that electronic monitoring will decrease driver time spent on paper logs and allow companies to better prepare for truck availability to pick up new loads. By using electronic devices to monitor truck driver HOS, it will become much more difficult for a truck driver or company to falsify driving logs.


The new ELD rule applies to trucks and commercial buses in the United States. It also applies to drivers from Canada and Mexico domiciled in the country. Some drivers are exempt such as those performing short hauls and those who were not required to keep duty status records in the past. Tow truck drivers are also exempt as are truckers who only use paper logs eight days each month. Trucks built before the year 2000 are exempt from keeping electronic logging records, however, they are still obligated to keep paper ones.

Staging of Implementation

The implementation of electronic logging devices began on December 18. Roadside checks are expected to be initiated, making sure trucks and buses are in compliance, according to the FMCSA.  For the next several months, until April 1, 2018, trucks will not be placed out-of-service if they are not in compliance.

According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), trucks that have serious violations will be put out of service based on specific criteria until the violations are remedied. If a truck is involved in an accident while not using an electronic logging device, the violation can be used as proof of a lack of care.

Enforcement of the Electronic Logging Devices Mandate

Inspector training is ongoing. Enforcement officers, for now, will be checking to make sure that hours of service are being logged. If an ELD is not present, the CVSA said that drivers may be fined, but their trucks will not be taken off the road. The officer may or may not write up a citation if a trucker does not have an ELD in force. Some states are waiting until the April 1 deadline while others like California are leaving it up to the inspector on the scene. The citation will be entered in their inspection log for future reference. If a company repeatedly is cited for violation of the ELD rule, a federal investigation might ensue. Nonetheless, both inspectors and law enforcement officers will begin checking on December 18.

Why Are Electronic Logging Devices Important?

The ELD system is being implemented to help drivers avoid driving while fatigued. This, the FMCSA believes will help avert 1,844 accidents each year. By doing that, drivers will be able to haul their loads without being injured or killed. Other motorists will benefit from the reduction in crashes due to drivers operating trucks and buses beyond the regulated hours of service. Rollover accidents are frequently the result of a driver’s inattention due to excessive fatigue.

How Electronic Driving Logs Help in Truck Accidents Lawsuits

Finding the reason a truck accident happens often requires the use of investigative methods. In the past, companies and truckers might have made attempts to falsify records. The new electronic record system will make that a thing of the past. Not only will it be possible to determine hours of service but it will also enable an investigator to determine if a trucker was speeding.

Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Sacramento. Passenger vehicle occupants and bus passengers are subjected to catastrophic injuries when involved in an accident. If that has happened to you, or if a family member was killed, you have the right to file against the at-fault driver and the truck/bus company. You can reach me online, or call me at (916) 921-6400. I’ll give you friendly advice that is always free of charge.

I’ve assisted my neighbors in Sacramento since 1982 when they suffered injuries due to car, truck and pedestrian accidents. In each case, we strive to obtain just compensation for every client.

If you are wondering what previous clients had to say about my practice, just go to Avvo, Yelp, and Google to read reviews and comments.

You might also be interested in the way I resolved prior cases, go to my verdicts and settlements page.

I founded and own I built this website to give clients a place where they can read about personal injury law topics.

I’m a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates. We are a nationwide group of trial lawyers who have won $1 million for clients.

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