Black Box for Trucks Bill

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Truckers in our area are speaking out against a bill moving through congress.

The bill would require owners and operators of commercial rigs to install electronic recorders, or black boxes which means recording their every move.

Supporters of the bill said requiring black boxes in trucks would make the roads safer, stopping more tired drivers from hitting the road.

However, some truck drivers said all it would do is tie their hands and invade their privacy.

For truck owner and operator Pat Clancy from upstate New York, his days start off with a seven-hour trip to New York City. Then it's off to Philadelphia and then back to upstate New York.  It adds up to a 13-hour day that he logs on his own, in his own time, in a paper log.

We caught up with Clancy during a stop near Harford in Susquehanna County. He says his routine works just fine, and he doesn't need a black box recorder watching every move he makes.

“I think big brother is too big. I'm really not for any more legislation,” said Clancy. “I know when I'm tired, I know when I need to sleep."

Federal law says drivers can drive at most 14 hours a day.  Once they hit that, they need to be off the road for the next 10 hours.

Some drivers say the boxes would record every moment the trucks are moving, whether the drivers are officially on the clock or not. They worry that drivers would end up being penalized for going even a little beyond that 14-hour limit.  But some say their biggest concern is invasion of privacy.

“I personally would not care for the black box because it watches your every move, not necessarily that you are doing anything wrong. I just don't think anyone wants to be watched like that,” said driver Michael Martin.

Supporters of the law believe it would help stop more and more drivers from going over their allowed hours, prevent violations, and cut back on paperwork.

"I think it's a safety regulation to uphold and integrity to ensure that the laws are being upheld and to ensure truckers are being safe and keeping everyone else safe,” said Doug Monroe of Stroudsburg.