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Government requires electronic monitoring of semi trucks

Many Denver-area residents commute to work on interstate highways, which makes preventing semi truck accidents a primary safety priority. A federal mandate will require most big rigs to have electronic logging devices installed by December 2017, but it has received a lot of criticism from the trucking industry.

For decades, federal trucking regulations required that commercial truck drivers keep written logs of how many hours they were behind the wheel. However, rampant problems with falsified trucking logs caused the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2015 to mandate that all 18-wheelers starting with with model years of 2000 be equipped with electronic logging devices.

ELDs, which automatically monitor driving times and the number of miles driven, are designed to cut down on crashes caused by truck driver fatigue. The ELDs do not record other traffic violations like speeding, and they cannot warn employers of problem workers like distracted truck drivers and drunk truck drivers.

However, many in the industry were not happy with the ELD mandate. They believe that the problem of falsified logbooks does not outweigh concerns about driver harassment and the Constitutional right to privacy. A lawsuit was filed challenging it, but in October 2106 a federal appeals court upheld the rule.

The goal of the ELD mandate is to cut down the number of future wrecks caused by drowsy drivers, but many other truck accidents are caused by other forms of negligence, including lax maintenance and drivers who are speeding, distracted or impaired. People who have been injured in such an accident may want to have an attorney's help in seeking compensation from the driver or the trucking company for medical bills and other losses that they have incurred.

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