During December 2017, most commercial truck drivers in Louisiana and around the country will be required to log their working hours and track their on-duty status with electronic logging devices. The federal mandate applies to truck operators in the U.S. who drive trucks that were manufactured in the year 2000 or later. Truck drivers operating pre-2000 model trucks can continue to use paper logs after the rule goes into effect.
The electronic logging device rule was written by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and published in December 2015. A previous FMCSA rule that mandated electronic logging devices was published in 2010, but that rule was tossed out by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The appeals court found that the 2010 rule did not contain sufficient protections for truckers that could be harassed by carriers through the devices.
The revised ELD mandate was upheld by the same court after the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sued the FMCSA. The OOIDA filed a lawsuit on behalf of two truck drivers who felt that the ELD mandate violated their Fourth Amendment privacy rights. The appeals court ruled against the OOIDA, giving the green light for the ELD mandate to be implemented. However, the OOIDA could still appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Truck drivers are required to log their hours so that federal regulators can make sure that they are not violating rest break laws. When truck drivers do not take sufficient breaks for sleep and rest, they could cause accidents by driving while they are exhausted. A person who was injured in a big rig accident involving an exhausted driver might want to have legal assistance when attempting to recover damages from the negligent truck driver and his or her employer.