Two Public Sessions Set for Feedback on 'Black Box' Truck Rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration yesterday announced two "public listening sessions" about its proposed rule to set performance standards for electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs, known colloquially as "black boxes") and require their use by motor carriers with a history of serious noncompliance with the hours of service rules. FMCSA's rule also would offer incentives for the rest of the industry to use them voluntarily.

The sessions be held March 27 at the Crowne Plaza West Hotel, 2532 West Peoria Ave. in Phoenix, AZ, and April 2 at the Harold Washington Library, 400 South State St. in Chicago, both times from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To make a formal presentation at either meeting, contact Deborah Freund at 202-366-4009 or deborah.freund@dot.gov.

FMCSA published the proposed rule Jan. 18, 2007 for EOBRs installed in commercial motor vehicles manufactured two years or later after the rule's effective date. If FMCSA determined, based on hours records reviewed during each of two compliance reviews conducted within a two-year period, that a motor carrier had a 10 percent or greater violation rate, it would then require that carrier to install EOBRs in all of its commercial vehicles, no matter when they were manufactured. The carrier would have to use them for hours recordkeeping for two years unless it had already had equipped its vehicles with automatic on-board recording devices meeting the requirements in 49 CFR 395.15 and could demonstrate to FMCSA that its drivers understand how to use the devices.

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