The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a proposed change to transportation regulations in order to reduce accidents and paperwork burdens. FMCSA is reviewing options that would require electronic logging devices (ELD) for commercial motor vehicles (CMV), which include livestock carriers. ELDs would improve compliance with hours-of-service standards and thereby help prevent over 1,000 crashes a year—saving between 20–24 human lives and avoiding many more severe injuries to and gruesome deaths of livestock. Thousands of animals are killed each year when shipped by CMV; in fact, in June, hundreds of sheep died when the tractor-trailer carrying them rolled and slipped off a highway in Oregon.
While accidents like these are of constant concern, the poultry industry is not happy with FMCSA’s proposed rule—preferring to stick with the paper log system currently in place. However, FMCSA believes ELDs will track on-duty driving hours better than the current system, helping ensure that drivers rest and remain in good physical condition to operate CMVs.