U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 14, 1998
Contact: Janet Kumer
Telephone: (202) 366-0079
Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Project Using Satellite Tracking to Manage Hours of Service by Drivers
U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced a pilot project permitting motor
carriers to use satellite tracking systems and similar technology, along with complementary safety
management computer systems, to record and monitor hours of service by truck drivers.
"Safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority," Secretary Slater said. "This pilot
project could lead to improved safety by providing an accurate method of monitoring truck and
bus driver hours and helping to prevent crashes resulting from fatigue."
The use of satellite systems that track vehicle and driver locations over time would replace
handwritten "records of duty status," commonly called driver logs, which are required by the
Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Truck and
bus drivers are limited to 10 hours of driving after which rest is required for at least 8 hours.
"Use of satellite technology will provide the same degree of monitoring accuracy as the automatic
on-board recorders that carriers may elect to use," FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle said.
"Both are more accurate than handwritten logs."
The project involves a two-year pilot during which motor carriers can volunteer to enter into
agreements with the FHWA to use advanced technology to manage their drivers' compliance with
the hours of service regulations. The project is intended to show that use of technology can
improve compliance, promote safety, and reduce regulatory paperwork.
Wykle said GPS technology also could save time and resources that motor carriers must devote to
monitor drivers' hours of service and noted that the project recognizes how partnerships,
technology, and incentives are major tools for advancing the goal of safe and economical
highways for everyone in the 21st century.
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