New Jersey truck drivers and trucking companies may appreciate the relief that they will experience as the result of a Dec. 18 rule implemented by the Department of Transportation. Previously, daily paperwork required of trucking professionals accounted for more than 46 million hours of time annually. Reports of vehicle inspections were required even when there were no safety or equipment problems. The elimination of report requirements in such cases is expected to save at least $1.7 billion per year without any negative safety effects. The U.S. Transportation Secretary noted that this rule change would enable the trucking industry to place more emphasis on transporting goods safely while curbing waste and red tape in accordance with President Obama's requests. An estimated 95 percent of inspections do not produce evidence of safety defects or maintenance issues. The elimination of paperwork allows for greater efficiency, enabling drivers to focus more on driving safely. The trucking industry was previously identified as having one of the heaviest paperwork requirements at the federal level. The changing requirements are expected to drop this industry from the 19th to the 79th heaviest paperwork load. Paperwork is still required in cases involving safety problems or other maintenance concerns, providing documentation of issues that might result in truck accidents. Proper documentation in such situations may be important for maintaining accountability so that problems will be corrected to ensure safe operation of vehicles. The reduction in unnecessary paperwork, meanwhile, may allow drivers to focus more on their main task of successfully transporting goods. An individual dealing with injuries suffered in connection with a trucking accident might want to know if a vehicle was properly serviced and maintained. A lawyer might be helpful in tracing the record of the vehicle in question to ensure that safety problems were properly documented and addressed. Source: OH&S, "DOT Plays Santa, Eliminating Daily Paperwork Requirement for Trucking Industry", December 17, 2014