All That's Trucking

Chicago Truck Crash Triggers Scrutiny of Logbooks, Coercion

July 29, 2014

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A Chicago-area truck crash that killed four has led to local attention to federal hours-of-service rules, the mandatory electronic logs proposal, and federal efforts to address coercion of drivers to break the law.

Truck driver Francisco Espinal Quiroz, 51, of Leesburg, Ind., was involved in a crash Monday, July 21, on Interstate 55 that killed four people, including an 11-year-old girl, near Channahon, southwest of Chicago.

Quiroz was charged with failure to reduce speed to prevent an accident and willfully making false entries in his logbook. According to published reports, other charges, including reckless homicide, are possible.

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The Chicago Tribune followed up with a story about the "pressing need" to move away from paper logbooks to an electronic system. "Under the slow-moving federal rule-making process, mandatory e-logs aremore than two years away," the article reports, citing tales of two other Illinois crashes where falsified paper logs were involved.

Trending on Twitter this week is a compelling news video by a local station that follows up on the horrific truck crash with a story of trucker coercion.

CBS2 in Chicago, in a segment that is relatively un-sensationalized compared to a lot of TV news articles about trucking, talks about the issue of truck drivers being forced to run over hours and with unsafe trucks by unscrupulous trucking companies.

It paints a picture of truck drivers as mostly responsible and conscientious, being pushed by a few bad-apple trucking operations. It focused on one in particular, Illinois-based Brave Lines Inc., talking to two former drivers who said they got fed up with the situation and quit.

I looked up Brave Lines' CSA scores. This 20-truck carrier with a CSA score in the HOS BASIC of 96.80. That means its hours of service compliance is worse than about 97% of the other carriers in its group. Its unsafe driving and vehicle maintenance scores aren't too hot, either. I hope this segment prompts officials to do a full compliance audit on this company. Watch the video on the CBS2 website.

Comments

  1. 1. james [ August 16, 2014 @ 06:19AM ]

    Companies would need a team of lawyers to stay ahead of all these laws. What the F.M.C.S.A. Doesn't realize is all this talk on E-logs is going to do, is make our roads even more unsafe. The reason's are many drivers will drive faster to beat that (e-log) clock. Companies will make there drivers drive less hours overall. This will further stress drivers into unlawfull situations to earn enouph to support there family's. Seems to me also that a foreigner wouldnt have to learn how to read or write in english or use any brain power to interpret any kind of problem they would encounter because the e-logs would have to be bilingual in order to support non US drivers. Its an unecessary move to further burden drivers and companies with costs that quite frankly they cant afford. Lets try to look at what's really causing the problem! Dereglation and to low trucking rates and fuel costs/ drivers with no experience.Put a driving limit on cars. Everytime theres a crash involving a truck the driver and company goes under scrutiny! Lets try putting an "hours of service" on cars. Ya right?

  2. 2. james [ August 16, 2014 @ 06:37AM ]

    Heres a good one! How about a mandatory drug and alcohol test on anyone involved in any kind of crash. What to exspensive? I got another one....how about we make all drivers of any vehicle take a written "core knowledge test on the basics of trucks ? Blind spots/stopping distance/turning. 32 years of driving around and in chicago I have seen more than my share of unsafe 4 wheelers. Cell phone restrictions are a joke....I see atleast 2 dozen cars a day driving while texting or with the phone stuck to there ear.lets pass laws that not only invlove truckdrivers to be complient but car and motor home and buses- struggle to be in compliance with motor drivers laws.

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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

Editor in Chief

All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.

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