Many truck drivers in Georgia are independent contractors while others work as employees for companies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is about to require that all truck drivers across the country install electronic logging devices in their trucks, but independent truckers are protesting this move as an invasion of their privacy.
The monitoring devices will capture data from a truck’s engine and track the hours it is running, miles the truck has been driven and when the truck is in motion. According to FMCSA, this information will help prevent trucking accidents and save lives because it can be used to prohibit fatigued truckers from driving.
However, the United Independent Truckers of America disagrees. The organization’s president says that the electronic logging devices are an invasion of privacy and could result in truckers being underpaid. Since the devices record the actual number of hours a truck is moving, FMCSA sees it as a way to prevent drivers from cheating when they log their hours on paper. The UITA president says it will mean that truckers will only be paid for the hours they are actually driving and not for time they are waiting for loads. The organization is planning a protest of the logging devices by having a truck stoppage on December 18, the day that the mandate goes into effect.
Accidents that involve commercial trucks and passenger vehicles often result in more severe injuries to the occupants of the smaller car. This is why all professional truck drivers, whether they are independent contractors or company employees, must follow certain laws for truckers at both state and federal levels. Sometimes, traffic laws are more stringent for truck drivers than for non-commercial drivers; for example, some states impose stricter distracted driving laws for commercial drivers to reduce collisions.