The United States Senate has heard testimony from the DOT Inspector General about the need for stronger deterrents to deter “egregious” hour-of-service violations in the absence of mandatory on-board data recording devices for over-the-road truckers. Tragically, the inspector said that some truckers view the current fines as just a cost of doing business. Read the article about the testimony here.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has withdrawn a proposal to mandate placement of the devices on trucks, but courts have ordered a review of that decision.
There are many trucking companies that act responsibly. However, there are far too many that force drivers to driver over the mandatory limits of hours of service or who permit drivers to do so. After all, many truckers get paid by the mile, which means that if they are not moving they are not getting paid.
We have handled many truck wrecks over the years. It never ceases to amaze me how often we discover that truckers have falsified their log books. I had one driver admit that the company told him to write his log book to always make it appear that he drove an average of 60 miles per hour. His lies were discovered when his log book showed that two trips between the same locations were recorded as 320 miles apart for one trip and 120 miles apart for the next. One of the cities was Knoxville. When asked how the distances between the two cities were could be so different, he replied “It depends on which side of Knoxville you start on.” It made for great video.