Semi-truck law will increase safety of all drivers in Wisconsin

New technology aims to keep drivers accountable.
Posted at 12:09 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 15:43:14-04

The United States Department of Transportation is rolling out a new law for all commercial vehicles. According to AAA and the DOT, it'll make commercial and passenger vehicles safer on the roads, through Electronic Logging Devices, or ELDs. By December 16, 2019 all carriers and drivers must use ELDs are face fines and citations.

DOT has been phasing in the law since December of 2015, bringing awareness about the law to almost every state. AAA research says safety technologies, such as, ELDs, lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking, and air disc brakes, have the potential to prevent 63,000 truck related crashes a year. 

Michael Polyak is the CEO of Polyak Trucking Company, as a former driver with nearly 40 years behind the wheel, he says it's great that ELDs will be mandatory. Since ELDs track drive times, speed and location, it'll force drivers to be more mindful knowing law enforcement and their bosses have access to that data. 

"They'll run their 11 hours of driving and have to stop and sleep. They're not going to be the 13,14,15 hour cowboys out there," says Polyak. 

Polyak's daughter and company president, Pamela, agrees. It's why she made sure all Polyak trucks had the technology installed back in 2013. She says she knows she has good drivers, it's just best to use the data so everyone can learn from it. 

"They're doing anything they weren't supposed to be doing you can see it all... If I'm decreasing their bonus because of hard breaking incidents. They're gonna think twice when they're coming off the off ramp," says Pamela. 

Installing this technology is only have the problem, says Pamela.

"Cars cut off trucks all the time. They want to get ahead of that truck on the on ramps...but that could create a problem and a ripple affect," says Pamela. 

While ELDs and other technologies have shown to create a safer environment, through AAA's studies, Polyak says installation and implementation will stretch company time and that costs. 

"It may change the economy a little bit. You may find out that rates are going to have to go up, because drivers need to make their wages," says Polyak.