Flawed Data or Safer Highways?

“Drivers’ supervisors may request that a driver make edits to correct errors, but the driver must accept or reject such requests,” FMCSA says in the Federal Register entry announcing the change.

This announcement of change underscores the inherent problems within the e-log (Hours of Service) systems. Even when they log automatically there may be reasons why the data they produce is inaccurate, and if not the systems potentially violate constitutional rights not to self-incriminate… So to get around that the government provides driver-correction-allowances. Okay, but if I can correct (modify) the data to make it more accurate, then can’t I also change it to reflect what I want it to say – inaccurately? And isn’t that the very pile of refuse Volkswagen found itself playing in recently?

On top of that, as the leading quote notes, drivers’ supervisors may request edits or corrections…might a less than honorable supervisor cajole his drivers to submit fraudulent data? “Bob, we can’t have you reporting that you drove 16 hours, that’s illegal. Change your start time,” says the hypothetical supervisor after earlier denying the driver’s request for rest-break.

We, the public, are naïve if we think these e-log systems will create a safer highway system. All we’re doing is building additional expense and complexity into the supply-chain process.

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