Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | April 6, 2010

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says US DOT requires electronic monitors on trucks and buses with pattern of abusing hours of service on road.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today issued a new rule that will require interstate commercial truck and bus companies with serious patterns of hours-of-service (HOS) violations to install electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) in all their vehicles. Nearly 5,700 interstate carriers will use EOBRs after the final rule’s first year of implementation.

Electronic on-board recorders are devices attached to commercial vehicles that automatically record the number of hours drivers spend operating the vehicle. Driving hours are regulated by federal HOS rules, which are designed to prevent commercial vehicle-related crashes and fatalities by prescribing on-duty and rest periods for drivers.

Under the EOBR final rule, carriers found with 10 percent or more HOS violations during a compliance review will be required to install EOBRs in all their vehicles for a minimum of two years.

The rule also provides new technical performance standards for EOBRs installed in commercial motor vehicles, including requirements for recording the date, time and location of a driver’s duty status.

Additionally, carriers that voluntarily adopt EOBRs will receive relief from some of FMCSA’s requirements to retain HOS supporting documents, such as toll receipts used to check the accuracy of driver logbooks.

The rule will go into effect on June 1, 2012, to ensure EOBR manufacturers have sufficient time to meet the rule’s performance standards and to manufacture products to meet industry demand.

The Electronic On-Board Recorders for Hours-of-Service Compliance rule will appear in the Federal Register on April 2.

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