New regulations regarding electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) are expected to come to fruition in November, and the new proposal to mandate their use could seriously impact fleet companies. The proposed changes are slowly making their way through various parts of the federal government, meaning they very well could become a reality at the beginning of the next year.
A recent report detailing a noteworthy rulemaking from the United States Transportation Department shows the proposed new regulations moved from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to the Office of the DOT Secretary. If it receives its likely approval, it will then reach the White House Office of Management and Budget, which would clear its path for publication, or send it back to the DOT and FMSCA for further alterations.
If the proposal does end up passing, it could mean drastic changes for fleet owners. All drivers would be required to have EOBRs on their vehicles and would have to provide documentation to show their compliance with hours of service laws.
Highlights of EOBR Proposal
While the details of regulations will not be disclosed to the public, there are four major points that they seek to accomplish:
- Minimum performance requirements for EOBRs
- Standards for the required use of EOBRs by drivers required to prepare records of duty status
- Requirements regarding hour of service ancillary documentation
- Actions to guarantee that mandated use of EOBRs won’t result in the harassment of drivers by motor carriers or any enforcement officials
Reasoning Behind Mandated EOBRs
The FMCSA has stated that these requirements for EOBRs would effectively improve the compliance of hours of service rules. This would in turn decrease the risk of driver fatigue related accidents.
To demonstrate the need for these changes, research being conducted by the FMSCA regarding whether EOBRs reduce the risk of fatigued related crashes is in progress and will be concluded later this year. This particular study is also examining the compliance of hours of service, how large of a portion of the industry is using EOBRs, the costs of the devices, and the other benefits they may provide.