FMSA Issues Final Ruling on Electronic On-Board Recorders for Hours-of-Service Compliance ::::
In a 46-page notice in the April 5, 2010 Federal Register, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued its final ruling on the use and performance of Electronic On-Board Recorders for Hours-of Service Compliance. Commercial vehicle operators engaging HOS violations should take note.
The FMSCA has long noted a strong correlation between HOS violations and reduced commercial motor vehicle safety. Part of its plan to reduce HOS violations, and thus improve CMV safety, includes mandatory use of EOBRs for drivers and carriers with a history of HOS violations. Specifically, according to the rule, “ Motor carriers that have demonstrated serious noncompliance with the HOS rules will be subject to mandatory installation of EOBRs meeting the new performance standards.” The rule further states that if FMSCA determines, based on HOS records review, that a motor carrier has a 10 percent or greater violation rate for specified HOS regulations, FMSCA will require the motor carrier to install EOBRs in all of its CMVs, regardless of the their age, and to use them for 2 years.
The EOBR device will be integrally synchronized to the vehicle’s engine to capture all vehicle operation time, including idling, and are required to provide visual and audible driver warnings at least 30 minutes before the expiration of legal drive time. Among the parameters the device will record are driver and co-driver name, ID number, and system password, as well as date, time, daily distance traveled, and hourly vehicle position tracking updates. The devices are intended only to provide data related to driver hours-of-service: they do no record any information related to collision, or near-collision events.
Other notable features include universal data processing and presentation format; on-demand wireless and USB data transmission and record printing; and daily driver record review with affirmative driver acknowledgement. Drivers will have the opportunity to individually annotate HOS records; however, the system will maintain a separate copy of the original data file. The FMSCA has also added incentives to encourage voluntary EOBR use, such as eliminating the retention requirements related to certain HOS supporting documents.
The final ruling takes effect June 4, 2010 and required motor carrier compliance begins two years later. For the entire Federal Register Notice, click here.
For additional information, please contact Scott King at rsk@forensicDJS.com or phone 800-332-6273.