Georgia HOS blitz finds 34 violations in 34 inspections
February 2, 2021
The Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division recently conducted an hours-of-service detail that resulted in 34 HOS violations in 34 inspections.
On Jan. 26, many truckers were greeted by the Region 5 Motor Carrier Compliance Division on Interstate 85 in Troup and Coweta Counties. Officers inspected commercial vehicles looking to see who was not adhering to federal hours of service regulations. In total, 34 trucks were checked that night and 34 violations were found. According to Capt. Sherrie Butler, six trucks did not have any HOS violations.
A variety of violations were discovered by the Motor Carrier Compliance Division. Violations included three false logs, “form and manner,” ELD not mounted, unable to transfer ELD logs to the web server, two 11-hour rule violations, and two 14-hour rule violations. The three drivers with false logs were placed out of service. Form and manner violations were the most common.
Georgia’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division’s latest HOS detail highlights the measures departments are taking to enforce HOS regulations.
That particular detail is just one of several conducted in Georgia. Other days, the department may focus on a different set of federal regulations. However, all regulations are enforced throughout the day every day.
ELDs are throwing a wrench into the process. Capt. Butler told Land Line that ELD systems are making it more difficult to find stuff like false logs. As evidenced by the latest HOS detail, however, she said the officers will find them. ELDs may not have made their job easier, but Capt. Butler said she believes the devices have a safety benefit by keeping truckers honest.
Efficacy of ELDs on safety is being debated.
In 2019, a study conducted by researchers from three major universities discovered that since ELDs were mandated, violations began going down. However, the number of crashes among owner-operators increased. With drivers in a tighter time crunch, many theorize that that unsafe driving behavior is on the rise in an attempt to beat the clock. In 2018, fatalities involving large trucks reached a 30-year high. That was the first full year of the ELD mandate.
The Motor Carrier Compliance Division’s HOS detail was successful for the department. On the other hand, the department’s Facebook post garnered more than 400 comments, many of them critical of the detail. While several people were quick to call the detail a money grab, Capt. Butler said that is not the case.
“We’re looking at safety first and foremost,” Butler said. “We want them to take the rest that they need to comply with the hours of service rules and regulations that keep these trucks safe with the motoring public. We have a lot of crashes in Georgia. A commercial vehicle crashes and some of them are due to fatigue and some are due to other things. We’re trying to reduce the crashes that we have in Georgia.” LL