It’s a new year and a new era of regulations for truck drivers in the United States.
The trucking industry is among the most regulated industries in the country, and this year there are even more rules to add to the long list. These rules are designed to make the roads safer for truck drivers and motorists alike.
What are the most important trucker regulations for 2017?
Here are some of the highlights of the proposed new regulations for the trucking industry:
- More training for truck drivers – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed increased training for truckers. The uptick in training hours is expected to help retain truckers for the long-term, but it also has a big price tag attached. The same agency that implemented the new rule admits that it could cost more than $5 and-a-half billion over the next 10 years. It could make trucking companies implement in-house training programs, which will surely put a financial burden on the industry.
- More environmental regulations – There are new regulations for truckers and the environment. The rules are designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and make fuel economy better. It will be up to the trucking manufacturers to bring their products up to the increased environmental standards. That could mean higher costs for trucking companies to purchase the new parts, but the Environmental Protection Agency assures the industry that they will recover those additional costs within two years due to fuel savings.
- Electronic logging devices – The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is aimed at helping to create a safer work environment for drivers and help to more quickly and accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status. Companies have until December 2017 to start using them, but they should start getting ready for them as soon as possible. An ELD works by syncing up with the truck’s engine to automatically record driving time.
- Hours-of-service rule – The new regulations also will limit truck drivers to 73 hours of work for every seven days. That will be hard to get around with the new electronic logging devices, which will be able to tell how long the truck has been on the road. That means one thing for trucking companies: You have to comply. When the regulators say drive time, that doesn’t just mean the hours that trucks are driving. If you’re sitting idle and waiting for your next dispatch, or if you’re loading and unloading your cargo, both will count toward your hours of service.
All of these new regulations are expected to increase safety on the roads and major highways of America.
Accidents involving trucks are typically more serious than accidents involving other vehicles. That’s why it’s so important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you’re involved in a wreck with a big rig.
Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.