Proposed EOBR reg under review by White House office

| 8/14/2006

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the “notice of proposed rulemaking” on the use of electronic-on-board-recorders for enforcing hours-of-service compliance.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be seeking information on issues to be considered in the development of improved performance specifications for these recording devices, according to a notice posted on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

This will help ensure that future requirements for the use of on-board recorders are appropriate when applied to emerging technologies, according to the notice.

According to a report providing a summary and the status for all significant regulations at the Department of Transportation, FMCSA officials had set an Aug. 4 deadline for submitting the notice to the Office of Management and Budget.

The summary states that FMCSA officials anticipate OMB clearance on Nov. 6 and publishing of the notice on the Federal Register on Nov. 17.

This is the second step toward regulation for EOBRs. FMCSA posted an “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking” in 2004.

Using strong language and citing case law, OOIDA filed comments opposing government-mandated black boxes for trucks, and suggested that carriers and brokers are a major cause of hours-of-service violations.

In 50-plus pages filed on Nov. 30, 2004, OOIDA and its president, Jim Johnston, flatly told the federal government that mandating electronic on-board recorders would not only be unconstitutional, but that it would not provide any more accurate records of HOS compliance than existing paper logs do.

“As OOIDA has been telling the (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) for years, it is the on-duty, not driving demands of carriers, brokers and shippers that put the greatest pressure on drivers to violate the HOS rules,” the association’s official comments stated.

“Because an EOBR will rely on driver input to have a full record of a driver’s activities, it provides no more accurate a record of a driver’s HOS compliance than paper logs, and will have little effect on the demands placed on drivers by carriers to exceed the HOS rules.

– By Jami Jones, senior editor
Senior editor Coral Beach contributed to this report.