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Implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging device rule is nearing the full compliance phase. The use of these devices, or ELDs, will be mandatory starting December 16, 2019. With few exceptions, the rule applies to carriers and truck operators who are currently required to maintain records of their duty status.

The aim of the new rule is to improve hours-of-service compliance, thus creating a safer working environment for truckers by ensuring they are not pushed into driving for more hours than is safe and recommended. By reducing the number of trucking accidents each year, the rule will also improve general traffic safety for drivers in Mississippi and throughout the U.S.

According to the FMCSA, ELDs are a type of technology that monitors vehicles’ engines and captures certain hours-of-service data. These devices record information including whether the vehicle is running, whether the vehicle is moving, the duration of the engine’s operation and the number of miles driven. For truck operators, the use of ELDs allows for easier and more accurate recordkeeping of their duty status details.

According to the Department of Transportation’s Federal Register, the FMCSA estimates that implementing the mandatory use of ELDs for records-of-duty-status drivers would prevent 1,844 trucking accidents annually. This would, in turn, result in the avoidance of 562 injuries and save 26 lives. If the rule is applied to all hours-of-service truckers, the FMCSA estimates that it would prevent 2,217 truck-involved collisions annually. This would potentially save 31 lives each year and prevent 675 injuries.