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Truck driver logs may be electronic … “in the year 2525, if man is still alive”

As Georgia attorney working on trucking accident cases, I often seen why truck drivers’ paper logs are often called “comic books.” In one recent case, for example, a truck driver from Croatia who was trained by some unidentified Russian guy in North Carolina, worked for a trucking company owned by a Bulgarian in Florida, and said he studied the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations by having his 10-year-old daughter translate them from English to Croatian, admitted that he generally filled out his logs the next day. No wonder his logs looked perfect.

In light of such experiences, you can see why I was encouraged to see that National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that all motor carriers to use electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) current proposal calls for an EOBRs mandate only for “repeat violators” of hours-of-service rules. Earlier the NTSB expressed concern that the FMCSA proposal lacks the “resources or processes necessary to identify and discipline all carriers and drivers who are pattern violators.” According to the NTSB,”the only way in which EOBRs can effectively help stem hours-of-service violations, and thereby reduce accidents involving a commercial driver’s reduced alertness or fatigue, is for the FMCSA to mandate EOBR installation and use by all operators.”

Ken Shigley, of the Shigley Law Firm, LLC, in Atlanta, Georgia, served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute, is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, and is actively involved in the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he is also a Master of the Lamar Inn of Court at Emory Law School, and Secretary of the 39,000 member State Bar of Georgia.