Commercial truckers concerned electronic logs could lead to more crashes

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Commercial truckers begin working under new rules this week when they're on the road. Instead of using the old paper log books, truckers are now required to log their hours of service on an ELD (Electronic Logging Device).

One small business owner said the change to an ELD system will cost her business and could cost consumers and commuters something as well.

"What needs to change to make the roads safer is how hours of service are listed and regulated," Alpha Omega Logistics Owner Deb Raiff said. "That flexibility needs to go back to your drivers. They're the ones that know how they feel."

Raiff has many concerns over the changes that range from the brokers to the shippers and receivers themselves. She said this change will cut down on the amount of product being shipped each week.

"If they can't deliver as much freight as they're accustomed to in a week, that's going to cause an increase in your price," Raiff said.

Alpha Omega Logistics currently has six trucks and employs five drivers to operate those trucks. Raiff told FOX19 well trained and experienced drivers are the key to making the roads safer.

"They (ELD's) are adding to their anxiety of looking at something that says, you have 3 hours left of drive time and you know that you've got three and a half hours to get there," Raiff said. The business owner added that she fears some drivers will view it as a race against the clock and that could lead to more crashes and fatalities.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said the change is "intended to create a safer work environment for drivers" and make it easier to track hours of service. The change is also intended to keep drivers from being behind the wheel for too long.

Raiff has met with Congressman Steve Chabot's office in an attempt to address these concerns and told FOX19 those talks will continue. In July of 2017, Chabot was a co-sponsor on a bill to delay the requirement of ELD's two more years.

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