Comments on EOBR Rule Now Due May 23
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extended the comment period after the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the American Trucking Associations requested it.
Individual truckers and truck owner-operators have filed dozens of comments opposing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's proposed rule to require many more carriers to install electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) on their commercial vehicles. The rule, published Feb. 1, is an attempt to expand the April 2010 rule 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 hours of service (HOS) regulation.
Comments now will be due by May 23 because FMCSA granted an extension at the request of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the American Trucking Associations. To comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0167.
Carriers that are required to maintain Records of Duty Status for (HOS) recordkeeping would have to use EOBRs to monitor their drivers' compliance, under the proposed rule, which contains 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.
A typical comment submitted by an individual to the rulemaking docket says this: "Regarding the EOBR rule, this rule will absolutely not improve safety at all! Does the EOBR drive the truck? You can put all the electronic devises on trucks, that will NEVER replace the human factor (the one that drives the truck). For the big companies that have EOBR's now, do they have a 0 crash rate or 0 violations? There is no proven facts that say EOBR's improve safety nor reduce violations. EOBR's never will. Big companies use them more so they can dispatch their drivers and keep track of where they are. When you have 1,000's of trucks to manage these might be ok to use, but not for all. I'm a owner operator with 1 truck leased to a carrier I find my own loads. I use drivers daily log on my laptop I print out logs at the end of the day. This works well for me not all drivers carry laptops not all drivers want to use a computer for their logs, that's what's nice about freedom in this country. We in this industry need a copy of the logs to show dot officers and to prove our time away from home for tax purpose for IRS.EOBR will not do away with paper that we the drivers need. As far as the leveling the playing field that's bull, this is a free market system in this country! This industry is not a one size fits all industry, stop trying to make it that, it will not work in this country for our economy. I have mixed feelings about putting them in the top 10% worst companies or drivers, if those top 10% did not change their ways, then would fmcsa or dot shut there company down or pull their authority? What's to keep them for restarting under another name. There are laws concerning this but who's enforcing it if it happens? As I said before EOBR's for all is not going to improve safety nor reduce violations. If you are truly concerned with safety then go after the driving schools and the companies that hire the students. I'm not a person that thinks regulations are the answer, but school is where it starts. Thank you for your time."