Final rule requires EOBRs for serious HOS violators

Interstate commercial truck and bus companies with serious patterns of hours-of-service violations will be required to install electronic onboard recorders in all vehicles, according to a final rule (.pdf file) published April 5 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The rule, which goes into effect June 4, would mandate EOBR use among carriers with a 10 percent HOS violation rate. The agency estimates approximately 5,419 carriers will be subject to this directive each year. Carriers that do not comply would be ordered out of service.

FMCSA stressed that the rule does not mandate industrywide use of EOBRs. The agency said it would explore the safety benefits of a broader EOBR mandate in a new rulemaking proceeding that will begin in the near future.

FMCSA also addressed questions about device and operation costs, maintenance and repair, driver identification, effects on small carriers, and driver health considerations. Motor carriers must comply with the final rule by June 4, 2012.

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