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Tracy Morgan Trucker Protest Sacramento Slows Traffic to a Crawl

Home » Tracy Morgan Trucker Protest Sacramento Slows Traffic to a Crawl
October 10, 2017
Edward Smith

Tracy Morgan Trucker Protest Sacramento Slows Traffic to a Crawl

Protest at State Capitol Draws Huge Crowd

Major roadways were slowed to a crawl Friday by truckers protesting the use of electronic logging devices or ELDs. It is said that they are not behind laws that would protect citizens from those truck drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. 

What Happened?

Truckers participating in a national protest, called Operation Black and Blue, took to the roads into Sacramento heading for Fresno on Friday and slowed passage on Highways 99 and 50. The convoy caused Interstate 5 to be almost stopped. The trucks were moving at about five miles per hour. Other motorists were left in an almost dead standstill.  How disappointing that these truckers exhibited such indifference and contempt to the other motorists on our roadways. 

What Is an Electronic Logging Device?

This device is one that connects to a truck’s motor, enabling it to detect movement. This ruling, set to go into effect on December 16, 2017, is part of a broader bipartisan bill called MAP-21 and was signed into law on July 6, 2012. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ruled that ELDs must be operative within two years of 2015. It also allowed ELDs already in use to remain until 2019 when they will be replaced or modified to be brought up to current specifications. The devices are certified by the Department of Transportation.

How Will the Device Work?

In the past, drivers were able to keep track of their duty status, such as on duty or off, by using paper and pen. After December 16, the same information will be done electronically, making it easier for truckers. The driver will simply need to log in, and the device will take over.

Reason for the ELDs

The mandate is part of safety concerns the industry and the public have over truckers working long hours without sleep. Accidents including the one where comedian Tracy Morgan was injured put the spotlight on driver fatigue. Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury, and his recovery was expected to be slow. His friend, a comedy writer, was killed in the accident. The truck driver had already driven 800 miles and continued to drive at the time he struck Morgan’s vehicle. Paper records are considered less accurate for tracking hours of service. If the Walmart truck driver had been using an ELD at the time, he might have stopped.

Will the Trucker Have Control?

A representative from Omnitracs, a software management company, says that a driver is able to edit the final log, something that is guaranteed by regulation. Even if a trucking company demands edits to the logs, it is ultimately up to the trucker to reject or accept them. Even if a truck is moved from one place to another after or before picking up a load for such activities as getting fuel, the ELD will track it, so the trucker must specify that.

How Do Truckers Cheat on Logbooks?

There are various ways to cheat on logbooks, and an experienced truck accident injury lawyer knows how to spot false entries. One way is to check if the driver is keeping two separate logbooks for entries. The falsified logbook may not be up-to-date on entries. If notations of vehicle inspections are missing from the logbook, the logbook may be falsified, or if a driver is not performing the required inspections before and after trips. When a driver makes multiple runs back and forth to the same location, he or she may get lazy and not note that arrival and departure times are different for each trip. This can indicate that the records are falsified. Checking the number of hours driven versus the number of miles traveled can also indicate falsified records. Obviously, a truck driver cannot travel 200 miles in less than 1 ½ hours.

Some truckers believe the devices, which are seen as an effort to ensure that truckers rest, will give trucking companies an advantage in hauling freight long distances.

Related Articles by Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith:

Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento truck accident attorney. If you have been injured by the negligence of a truck driver who refuses to rest as directed or if a family member died due to this or other violations by truckers, I am available to you to answer questions and provide free and friendly advice. Just call me locally at (916) 921-6400, or at a distance, call (800) 404-5400. You can contact me online.

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