By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC - U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer ( D-NY) is urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to take action to address trucker fatigue, which was a factor in the crash on a New Jersey highway that killed one and injured four people, including actor Tracy Morgan.
Schumer, is calling on federal transportation officials to step up efforts requiring trucking companies to use electronic logging devices, similar to "black boxes" found in planes, to track the time truckers are on the road. According to Schumer, groups representing truckers support installing the black boxes, including the American Trucking Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The DOT initially launched the electronic logging device rulemaking process four years ago, Schumer said, but it has been delayed. A transportation bill approved in 2012 required the agency to develop a rule for black boxes by October 2013 and implement it within two years.
Just three months ago, the transportation department unveiled their proposed electronic logging device rule — five months behind schedule — and in May, the agency extended a public comment period by 30 days to seek feedback on the rule.
The rule could be finalized by the end of this year or early 2015. If implemented, trucks would be required to have black boxes by the end of 2016 or early 2017.
Schumer also called on the U.S. DOT to increase the level of minimum liability coverage...