Comment period extended for EOBR mandate

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Friday, April 15, 2011

The FMCSA has extended the comment period for a proposed rule regarding electronic on-board recorders and hours-of-service supporting documents. The comment period that had been scheduled to end April 4 has been extended through May 23 at the request of stakeholder groups.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued its notice of proposed rulemaking on Feb. 1. In addition to proposing to mandate the use of EOBRs in all trucks, the agency also is proposing to reduce the amount of supporting documents motor carriers are required to validate hours-of-service compliance.

OOIDA believes EOBRs will not deliver the safety benefits or solve hours-of-service issues as the FMCSA maintains. Not only that, but EOBRs would add operating costs to businesses and add to the onslaught of burdensome regulations that truckers are already facing.

Back in 2007, the FMCSA floated a plan aimed at requiring EOBRs for so-called “bad actor” carriers in the industry, and followed through with a proposed rule in 2010 and a proposed enforcement date in summer 2012.

OOIDA filed a legal challenge of that rulemaking in October 2010 on grounds that there is no proof that the devices can accurately or automatically record a driver’s hours of service and duty status, and that a 24-hour monitoring is a violation of a driver’s Fourth Amendment rights.

That has not stopped FMCSA from casting a much wider net in the latest rulemaking to include nearly all heavy trucks. An effort to put EOBRs in trucks is being waged in Congress as well.

To comment on the FMCSA’s proposed rulemaking, use one of the following methods: Visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal and follow the online instructions; send 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; or fax to 202-493-2251.

Be sure to include the docket number: FMCSA-2010-0167 in your comments.

Comments are also being collected at Regulation Room, a joint project between the Department of Transportation and Cornell University. The program walks users through how to comment and even highlights comments that the moderators identify as effectively making a relevant point to the rulemaking.

See related stories:
FMCSA presses forward with EOBR mandate for all trucks
OOIDA says EOBRs won’t solve HOS issues
FMCSA targets bad actors with black box mandate
OOIDA files brief in EOBR legal challenge
Senators push for EOBRs in all trucks

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