LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The federal government has mandated truck drivers to install electronic logging devices in their vehicles, but Texas law makers are trying to delay to the compliance date.
The mandate goes into effect by December, aiming to reduce crashes caused by drowsy driving. However, last Tuesday, a Texas lawmaker filed a house bill to delay that compliance date by two years.
The device records when a driver starts working, how many hours he drives and tells him when to take a break. "You can't fudge or anything like that. When you're getting close to your 8 hours on your driving time, you have to pull over and shut down to take your 30 minute break," said Michael Benson one local trucker.
The devices make sure drivers aren't going over their hours electronically rather than a paper log. Truckers can work 14 hours per day and legally drive 8 of those hours. "Once you turn your truck on and do your pre-trip, your 14 hour day start there," Benson said.
However, some have expressed concern about the policy. "A lot of the drivers are worried about their living," said Patricia Criollo, Vice President of Fort Myers Trucking.
Criollo tells 4 In Your Corner the clock does not stop on the devices for traffic, gas stops, and loading and unloading, which can sometimes take hours. "By that time, you're running low on your 14 hour time frame and your 11 hour drive time, so half of it is eaten and that causes you to not make your run," she explained.
A good portion of industry drivers are paid per load. Therefore, the less loads they are able to deliver, the less money they will home. "Even one less load a week, from 5 to 4 loads, if it's an interstate driver, you're talking about one load being valued anywhere between $1,200 to $2,300," Criollo said.
Drivers or truck companies would also have to pay installation costs for the new devices.