On-board recording devices should be required on all trucks to stop trucking companies systematically forcing their drivers to drive in excess of hour-of-service regulations, according to an April 12 report on eTrucker.com. Kenneth Mead, U.S. Transportation Department inspector general, testified on April 5 before the Senate Commerce Committee on transportation safety programs. He said logbook and hours rules need strengthening because unscrupulous carriers and drivers view violations as “the cost of doing business,” he said. Mead said if the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration doesn’t ultimately require the devices, agency officials should consider other strategies to decrease hours violations, according to the eTrucker report. In lieu of on-board devices, Mead suggested other strategies to curb violations, such as: --Increase fines for a missing or incomplete logbook to equal that for having a false log book. --Allow information from a carrier’s existing GPS or onboard recording device to check for hours violations during compliance audits. Mead also recommended: --The FMCSA fortify state enforcement of laws barring Mexican trucks from illegal U.S. operation. -- Covert methods to uncover commercial driver’s license fraud and ensure that truckers who obtained their CDLs from suspected examiners have obtained their licenses properly. --Greater protection for consumers against fraudulent household goods movers.
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