Trucking Industry Backing Legislation to Conceal On-Board Recorder Data


January 25, 2011

Tractor-trailer accidents are typically the most deadly types of collisions often resulting in devastating and life-altering injuries or wrongful death. Ironically, these horrible motor vehicle accidents are among the most difficult accident cases to litigate. One of the most challenging aspects of a Georgia trucking accident case is preserving critical evidence, such as that of truck driver fatigue and other types of driver error. While trucking industry regulations require that a logbook be maintained so that there is a record of a tractor-trailer driver's hours of service, these records are routinely altered or falsified.

Our Georgia trucking attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, routinely use other evidence to prove such fabrication including stamped receipts, loading dock tickets and electronic on-board recorder data. Data from a commercial truck's on-board recorder can still be manipulated but such evidence is generally harder to fabricate or alter. Unfortunately, the trucking industry is now backing legislation to prevent use of this information by victims that are injured in trucking accidents.

This proposed legislation is both callous and amazingly one-sided. The proposed legislation, which is being backed by a number of large trucking companies, would permit use of the data only by the trucking company when it helps the trucking company but permit the information to be kept hidden if it would be helpful to a trucking accident victim. This legislation is ironic as many safety experts have advocated making on-board recorders mandatory because they can be a valuable tool for preventing poor trucking industry practices and can provide critical evidence in the event of a serious trucking accident. This legislation would make the most reliable source of evidence regarding driver fatigue and truck driver hours of service violations unavailable for trucking accident victims.

Senators Mark Pryor (D-Ar) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tn) have sponsored the Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act which would allow the trucking industry to hide evidence of driver fatigue in any commercial trucking accident. If the legislation is enacted, it would prevent people injured due to a trucking company's practice of allowing fatigued drivers to operate a tractor-trailer and to violate hours of service rules from having access to the evidence necessary to prove that aspect of their trucking accident lawsuit. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing trucking accident victims throughout Georgia for over 25 years. We know the important role that on-board recorder data can play in providing insight into the cause of a serious trucking accident. We can only hope this proposed legislation is not enacted.

If you or someone you love is seriously injured in a Georgia tractor-trailer accident, the experienced Georgia trucking accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates can help. Our experienced Georgia tractor-trailer attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today 24/7 for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). Or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com where you can fill out our free case evalutaiton form or use our 24 hour Live Online Chat. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Truck Accidents

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