FMCSA Publishes Electronic On-Board Recorder Rule

Motor carriers required to maintain Records of Duty Status for Hours of Service recordkeeping would have to use EOBRs to monitor their drivers’ compliance.

The next step in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s development of a modern safety measurement system for 700,000 motor carriers is a proposed rule published published Feb. 1 that would require certain motor carriers to use electronic on-board recorders. Specifically, carriers that are required to maintain Records of Duty Status for Hours of Service (HOS) recordkeeping would have to use EOBRs to monitor their drivers' compliance.

EOBRs already are widely used. FMCSA's proposal includes supporting documents these carriers would still be required to obtain and keep, as required by section 113(a) of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act, but it would remove requirements to retain supporting documents to verify driving time. It would require all carriers to systematically monitor their drivers' compliance with HOS requirements, with three years from the effective date of the final rule to comply.

The agency is accepting comments until April 4, 2011 (www.regulations.gov, docket number FMCSA-2010-0167). FMCSA had issued a rule on April 5, 2010, that mandated EOBR use by June 4, 2012, by motor carriers found during a compliance review to have a 10 percent violation rate for any HOS regulation. This new rule expands that mandate, with three possible options:

  • Option 1 would require EOBRs for all drivers required to use paper RODS.
  • Option 2 expands Option 1 to include all passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles subject to the FMCSRs and all shipments of bulk hazmats, regardless whether the drivers use paper RODs or are exempted from doing so.
  • Option 3 would include all commercial motor vehicle operations subject to the HOS requirements.

The estimated annual cost of each option is near or above $2 billion, but the agency said net benefits (largely from paperwork savings) would be even higher.

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