Listening session tackles EOBRs, driver harassment

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Can electronic on-board recorders be used to harass commercial drivers or pressure them to violate federal safety regulations? The FMCSA is seeking comments on the subject of EOBRs and driver harassment during a listening session Thursday, April 26, in Bellevue, WA. The agency will webcast the session and take comments by email and fax.

A court action last year by OOIDA forced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to vacate its initial rulemaking on EOBRs because it failed to deal with the harassment issue.

The listening session, like the one held in March during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, is part of the FMCSA’s attempt to address the issue as the agency considers an industry-wide mandate for the devices.

“Specifically, the agency wants to know what factors, issues, and data it should consider as it addresses the distinction between productivity and harassment; what will prevent harassment from occurring; what types of harassment already exist; how frequently and to what extent harassment happens; and how an electronic device such as an EOBR, capable of contemporaneous transmission of information to a motor carrier, will guard against (or fail to guard against) harassment,” FMCSA officials stated in the agenda for Thursday’s session.

The session coincides with a workshop being held this week by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, or CVSA.

OOIDA Chief of Staff Rod Nofziger and Director of Regulatory Affairs Joe Rajkovacz will represent OOIDA at the CVSA conference and attend the listening session.

The EOBR session is scheduled in two parts starting at 1:30 p.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m., Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, 900 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004.

Click here to read the agenda. In addition, the FMCSA will post a link at prior to the session that includes the webcast link and a call-in number for outside participation.

Truckers can also file written comments on the issue in various ways. Those include by fax to 1-202-493-2251; by mail to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; by hand delivery to the same address; and online via a federal online rulemaking portal on the agency’s website.

Don’t forget the docket number, which is FMCSA-2010-0167. Background documents are available at

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