FMCSA Schedules Meetings on EOBRs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced public listening sessions to obtain feedback on the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish new performance standards for Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs), require the use of these devices by certain motor carriers, and to provide incentives for the voluntary use of such devices by the industry.

The listening sessions will be held on March 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on April 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Comments also can be made at Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.

On January 18, FMCSA published an NPRM to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to incorporate new performance standards for EOBRs installed in commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) manufactured on or after the date two years following the effective date of the final rule. On- board hours-of-service recording devices meeting FMCSA's current requirements and voluntarily installed in CMVs manufactured before the implementation date of a final rule may continue to be used for the remainder of the service life of those CMVs.

Under the proposal, motor carriers that have demonstrated a history of serious noncompliance with the hours-of-service (HOS) rules would be subject to mandatory installation of EOBRs meeting the new performance standards. If FMCSA determined, based on HOS records reviewed during each of two compliance reviews conducted within a 2-year period, that a motor carrier had a 10 percent or greater violation rate (``pattern violation'') for any regulation in proposed Appendix C to Part 385, FMCSA would issue the carrier an EOBR remedial directive. The motor carrier would be required to install EOBRs in all of its CMVs regardless of their date of manufacture. The motor carrier would have to use the devices for HOS recordkeeping for a period of 2 years, unless: (1) The carrier already had equipped its vehicles with automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) meeting the Agency's current requirements under 49 CFR 395.15 and (2) could demonstrate to FMCSA that its drivers understood how to use the devices.

The FMCSA also proposed changes to the safety fitness standard that would require these carriers, i.e., those with a pattern of violations, to install, use, and maintain EOBRs in order to meet the new standard.

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