EOBR plan under DOT review, rule could come in November

eobrThe U.S. Department of Transportation anticipates publishing a proposal to mandate electronic onboard recorders and requirements for hours-of-service supporting documents Nov. 18.

The DOT Secretary’s office received the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking June 7 from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The White House Office of Management and Budget must clear the SNPRM before the agency can publish it for comment in the Federal Register.

The notice will supplement the FMCSA’s 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. It also will address issues raised by a federal appeals court’s 2011 decision vacating the agency’s EOBR Final Rule of the previous year. The court ruled the FMCSA failed to include required safeguards ensuring the mandate does not result in carriers and enforcement officials harassing drivers.

Agency officials are accepting comment through June 27 on its Information Collection Request to study driver harassment before issuing an EOBR rule.

Late this year, the FMCSA expects to receive the results of research it is sponsoring to determine if recorders reduce the risk of fatigue-related crashes. That study also examines hours-of-service compliance, what portion of the industry uses the devices, associated costs and other benefits of use.

Congress stipulated the FMCSA issue an EOBR rule when it passed the two-year highway reauthorization act last July. The act also required the rule to set performance standards, define “tamper resistant” in regard to EOBR and include safeguards to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the data.

Click here for more information on the FMCSA’s driver harassment study.