Next Step on EOBRs: Public Listening Sessions

FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee plans to complete a letter report about the key remaining issue, potential driver harassment, by its June 2012 meeting.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced it is going ahead with "EOBR 2," its February 2011 NPRM that will give all motor carriers currently required to maintain records of duty status for hours of service recordkeeping three years to implement electronic on-board recorders. Listening sessions will be held to discuss issues involving driver harassment, and the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee will be asked to develop supporting material and survey drivers, carriers, and vendors regarding harassment.

One of the key issues that halted the agency's more limited EOBR rule a year earlier was a court challenge from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which said FMCSA had not addressed the issue of potential use of the devices for driver harassment. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals responded by vacating the entire rule last August, adding that FMCSA had not estimated the safety benefits of EOBRs currently in use and how much EOBRs increased compliance.

The latest notice from the agency did not give a schedule for the listening sessions. DOT, the parent agency of FMCSA, listed EOBRs as a long-term rulemaking action in Monday's semiannual regulatory agenda. The advisory committee met last week in Alexandria, Va., and has a goal of completing its discussions and issuing a letter report about harassment during its June 2012 meeting.

To submit a comment about this rulemaking, visit www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0167. The FMCSA contact for additional information is Deborah M. Freund in the Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, 202-366-5370.

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