More support for black boxes

A national safety group has reinforced the suggestion of “black boxes” for large trucks after a driver involved in a fatal accident in Edmonton criticized the trucking industry for forcing drivers into breaking hours of service rules.

Bob Evans, the executive director for Canadians for Responsible and Safe Highways (CRASH), said he would like to see the same electronic data recorders found in airplanes used in large commercial trucks in order to strengthen compliance on hours of work regulations. He said the present log book method is useless because it is practically unenforceable, adding a black box would make manipulating work records extremely difficult.

Albert Labelle, who slammed his truck into another car-killing the driver and injuring the man’s pregnant wife- after drifting across a median in 1998, confessed that because loads are not ready on time, drivers are often forced to break hours of service rules in order to make a deadline.

“You have no choice. It’s do it or get another job,” the Edmonton Journal reported him as saying. “Talk to some of the other drivers and ask to see their log books. They don’t call it a log book, they call it a lie book.”

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