FMCSA Hasn't Given Up on EOBRs

The EOBR subcommittee of the agency's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee meets Oct. 26-27 to discuss technical issues. FMCSA has decided not to appeal a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision vacating its 2010 final rule.

Work is continuing at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on the functional specifications for electronic on-board recorders, even though the agency's April 5, 2010, final rule requiring their use by motor carriers with significant hours-of-service violations has been vacated by a federal appeals court.

FMCSA announced Oct. 7 that the EOBR subcommittee of its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee will meet Oct. 26-27 to discuss technical issues. The announcement said FMCSA has decided not to appeal the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' Aug. 26, 2011, decision vacating the final rule. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed the court challenge, and the 7th Circuit decision held that FMCSA had failed to consider a statutory mandate to "ensure that [EOBRs] are not used to harass vehicle operators."

The agency said while it will remove all regulatory text from the Code of Federal Regulations related to the vacated final rule, the EOBR subcommittee will continue its review of the technical specifications pertaining to EOBRs published with the rule.

The subcommittee meeting will be open to the public and will be held at the Sheraton Crystal City, 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, Va. The goal is to ensure roadside inspectors can retrieve EOBR data as they check drivers' compliance with hours of service regulations. "After the 2010 final rule was published, stakeholders in the CMV safety enforcement and EOBR supplier communities urged that certain requirements of the rule be revisited. Some communications methods that were presumed to be viable when the rule was developed appear less appropriate now as technology and government information technology security standards have evolved," FMCSA said.

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