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Electronic Onboard Recorders

Photo of Randy Sorrels

The United States Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recently issued a new regulation that will require commercial truck and bus companies with serious patterns of hours of service violations, to install electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) on all of their vehicles. Safety advocates are hailing this new regulation as an added safeguard to help monitor irresponsible 18 wheeler/big rigs, who terrorize our highways with their negligent driving patterns.

EOBRs are electronic devices that are installed in commercial vehicles to record the number of hours drivers spend operating commercial trucks. The rule also applies to commercial bus companies, which in recent times have suffered an unusually high number of fatal and catastrophic collisions. Many of the recent bus disasters have involved a single vehicle occurrence, but with more and more bus riders, there is a greater mortality rate in these crashes.

The regulation is designed to apply to motor vehicle carriers found with 10% or more hours of service violations during a compliance review, and those companies will be required to install the EOBRs on all of their vehicles for a minimum of 2 years. The rule is set to go into effect June 1, 2012, to give the manufacturers of these electronic devices sufficient time to meet the new performance standards and to manufacture enough devices to meet industry standards.

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