18 Wheeler Wreck Lawyer–Truck Recording Devices

July 2, 2016

Blue truck with smashed front

Morrow & Sheppard truck accident attorneys are privileged to represent injury victims and families nationwide who are affected by 18 wheeler, bus, and commercial vehicle accidents.

If you or a loved one has been in an 18 wheeler or large vehicle accident, call us now at 1-800-489-2216 for a free and confidential consultation.  We only get paid if you win.

This is the seventh installment describing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act regulations related to driver service ours.

One issue that comes up in 18 wheeler accident cases with increasing frequency is whether or not the vehicle has an automatic on-board recording device.  Such a device can be utilized by a trucking company to help ensure truckers comply with the Hours of Service requirements.

Federal Rules Regarding Recording Devices And Hours Of Service For Truckers

Section 395.15 provides:

§ 395.15: Automatic on-board recording devices.

(a) Authority to use automatic on-board recording device. (1) A motor carrier may require a driver to use an automatic on-board recording device to record the driver’s hours of service in lieu of complying with the requirements of § 395.8 of this part.

(2) Every driver required by a motor carrier to use an automatic on-board recording device shall use such device to record the driver’s hours of service.

(b) Information requirements. (1) Automatic on-board recording devices shall produce, upon demand, a driver’s hours of service chart, electronic display, or printout showing the time and sequence of duty status changes including the drivers’ starting time at the beginning of each day.

(2) The device shall provide a means whereby authorized Federal, State, or local officials can immediately check the status of a driver’s hours of service. This information may be used in conjunction with handwritten or printed records of duty status, for the previous 7 days.

(3) Support systems used in conjunction with on-board recorders at a driver’s home terminal or the motor carrier’s principal place of business must be capable of providing authorized Federal, State or local officials with summaries of an individual driver’s hours of service records, including the information specified in § 395.8(d) of this part. The support systems must also provide information concerning on-board system sensor failures and identification of edited data. Such support systems should meet the information interchange requirements of the American National Standard Code for Information Interchange (ANSCII) (EIARS-232/CCITT V.24 port (National Bureau of Standards “Code for Information Interchange,” FIPS PUB 1-1)).

(4) The driver shall have in his/her possession records of duty status for the previous 7 consecutive days available for inspection while on duty. These records shall consist of information stored in and retrievable from the automatic on-board recording device, handwitten records, computer generated records, or any combination thereof.

(5) All hard copies of the driver’s record of duty status must be signed by the driver. The driver’s signature certifies that the information contained thereon is true and correct.

(c) The duty status and additional information shall be recorded as follows:

(1) “Off duty” or “OFF”, or by an identifiable code or character;

(2) “Sleeper berth” or “SB” or by an identifiable code or character (only if the sleeper berth is used);

(3) “Driving” or “D”, or by an identifiable code or character; and

(4) “On-duty not driving” or “ON”, or by an identifiable code or character.

(5) Date;

(6) Total miles driving today;

(7) Truck or tractor and trailer number;

(8) Name of carrier;

(9) Main office address;

(10) 24-hour period starting time (e.g., midnight, 9:00 a.m., noon, 3:00 p.m.)

(11) Name of co-driver;

(12) Total hours; and

(13) Shipping document number(s), or name of shipper and commodity.

(d) Location of duty status change. (1) For each change of duty status (e.g., the place and time of reporting for work, starting to drive, on-duty not driving and where released from work), the name of the city, town, or village, with State abbreviation, shall be recorded.

(2) Motor carriers are permitted to use location codes in lieu of the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section. A list of such codes showing all possible location identifiers shall be carried in the cab of the commercial motor vehicle and available at the motor carrier’s principal place of business. Such lists shall be made available to an enforcement official on request.

(e) Entries made by driver only. If a driver is required to make written entries relating to the driver’s duty status, such entries must be legible and in the driver’s own handwriting.

(f) Reconstruction of records of duty status. Drivers are required to note any failure of automatic on-board recording devices, and to reconstruct the driver’s record of duty status for the current day, and the past 7 days, less any days for which the drivers have records, and to continue to prepare a handwritten record of all subsequent duty status until the device is again operational.

(g) On-board information. Each commercial motor vehicle must have on-board the commercial motor vehicle an information packet containing the following items:

(1) An instruction sheet describing in detail how data may be stored and retrieved from an automatic on-board recording system; and

(2) A supply of blank driver’s records of duty status graph-grids sufficient to record the driver’s duty status and other related information for the duration of the current trip.

(h) Submission of driver’s record of duty status. (1) The driver shall submit, electronically or by mail, to the employing motor carrier, each record of the driver’s duty status within 13 days following the completion of each record;

(2) The driver shall review and verify that all entries are accurate prior to submission to the employing motor carrier; and

(3) The submission of the record of duty status certifies that all entries made by the driver are true and correct.

(i) Performance of recorders. Motor carriers that use automatic on-board recording devices for recording their drivers’ records of duty status in lieu of the handwritten record shall ensure that:

(1) A certificate is obtained from the manufacturer certifying that the design of the automatic on-board recorder has been sufficiently tested to meet the requirements of this section and under the conditions it will be used;

(2) The automatic on-board recording device permits duty status to be updated only when the commercial motor vehicle is at rest, except when registering the time a commercial motor vehicle crosses a State boundary;

(3) The automatic on-board recording device and associated support systems are, to the maximum extent practicable, tamperproof and do not permit altering of the information collected concerning the driver’s hours of service;

(4) The automatic on-board recording device warns the driver visually and/or audibly that the device has ceased to function. Devices installed and operational as of October 31, 1988, and authorized to be used in lieu of the handwritten record of duty status by the FMCSA are exempted from this requirement.

(5) Automatic on-board recording devices with electronic displays shall have the capability of displaying the following:

(i) Driver’s total hours of driving today;

(ii) The total hours on duty today;

(iii) Total miles driving today;

(iv) Total hours on duty for the 7 consecutive day period, including today;

(v) Total hours on duty for the prior 8 consecutive day period, including the present day; and

(vi) The sequential changes in duty status and the times the changes occurred for each driver using the device.

(6) The on-board recorder is capable of recording separately each driver’s duty status when there is a multiple-driver operation;

(7) The on-board recording device/system identifies sensor failures and edited data when reproduced in printed form. Devices installed and operational as of October 31, 1988, and authorized to be used in lieu of the handwritten record of duty status by the FMCSA are exempted from this requirement.

(8) The on-board recording device is maintained and recalibrated in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications;

(9) The motor carrier’s drivers are adequately trained regarding the proper operation of the device; and

(10) The motor carrier must maintain a second copy (back-up copy) of the electronic hours-of-service files, by month, in a different physical location than where the original data is stored.

(j) Rescission of authority. (1) The FMCSA may, after notice and opportunity to reply, order any motor carrier or driver to comply with the requirements of § 395.8 of this part.

(2) The FMCSA may issue such an order if the FMCSA has determined that—

(i) The motor carrier has been issued a conditional or unsatisfactory safety rating by the FMCSA;

(ii) The motor carrier has required or permitted a driver to establish, or the driver has established, a pattern of exceeding the hours of service limitations of this part;

(iii) The motor carrier has required or permitted a driver to fail, or the driver has failed, to accurately and completely record the driver’s hours of service as required in this section; or

(iv) The motor carrier or driver has tampered with or otherwise abused the automatic on-board recording device on any commercial motor vehicle.

Truck Wreck Injury Lawyers In Houston

Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to represent injured victims and families nationwide who have been affected by truck, 18-wheeler, and commercial vehicle accidents.

Please call us now at 1-800-489-2216 to discuss your legal rights.  Consultations are free and if you do hire us, we only get paid if you win.

Get a Free Case Review by Calling Morrow & Sheppard Now.

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