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Truckers oppose mandate that could prevent fatigued driving

As the calendar year 2017 draws to a close, a new federal mandate will go into effect in Ohio and other states across the nation. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials, the Electronic Logging Device mandate will keep fatigued truck drivers off the roadway, preventing hundreds of trucking-related accidents each year. Members of at least one trade organization appear to disagree. Arguing that the mandate has little to do with safety, the president of the United Independent Truckers of America claims that the ELD regulation is simply an attempt by the government to "kill" the small trucking company industry.

In response, the nonprofit organization is planning a truck stoppage on Dec. 18 following an earlier protest that took place on Dec. 4. Participants reportedly believe that the switch to the new mandated system is a violation of privacy as well as a deterrent to safe trucking practices.

Federal officials have reportedly been pushing for the mandate to prevent drivers from embellishing paper logs. Once linked to a semi's engine, the ELD is designed to record the amount of time that a driver is behind the wheel, capture data on engine operation and track the actual number of miles a vehicle is driven. Opponents say that drivers who are allowed to work 40 hours but must spend half of their time waiting for loads will no longer be paid for the hours during which their trucks are not moving.

Because the mandate goes into effect on Dec. 18, it is not yet known whether the use of the logging devices will significantly prevent crashes caused by fatigued truck drivers. Regardless of whether an ELD device is in use, Ohio residents who are seriously injured in truck accidents due to the negligence of fatigued truck drivers may be entitled to financial compensation for their losses.

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