In the past drivers have been required to keep paper logs of their hours dating back to 1938, but accident investigators and safety advocates have complained for years that it’s easy to change the logs or keep two different sets of records to evade restrictions on hours. Electronic logging devices automatically record driving time by monitoring engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information. This technology brings logging hours into the modern age but will allow roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.
The rule goes into effect in 60 days and gives companies two years after that to start using the devices. Companies which have previously installed recording devices that meet current standards but don’t meet requirements of the new rule can continue to use them for four years. The rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices for recording driving hours as long as they meet the regulation and approval of the agency.