Senators introduce bill to require EOBRs

Senators Mark Pryor (D- AR) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bill late Wednesday that would require the use of electronic onboard recording devices for commercial carriers

Senators Mark Pryor (D- AR) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bill late Wednesday that would require the use of electronic onboard recording devices for commercial carriers.

The bill, the Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act (S. 3884) has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“No one wants to share the road with tired truckers, but we all expect our stores to be full of merchandise. Meeting these expectations is a constant balancing act for the trucking industry,” Pryor said. “After several meetings with industry and Senate hearings on highway safety, I believe the most sensible and effective solution is to require the use of electronic onboard recorders. This measure will ensure the entire industry is putting safety and driver quality of life before profit.”

If passed, the bill would require the Dept. of Transportation to issue regulations to mandate EOBRs within 18 months of enactment.

EOBRs can monitor hours-of-service regulations and some, including PeopleNet’s Matt Voda, believe the use of them can significantly reduce issues related to FMCSA’s new CSA 2010 initiative.

“When you are scored against your peers and your peers have EOBRs and you don’t, you’re at a disadvantage,” Voda said.

As the industry waits on pending hours-of-service regulations, many experts believe that the use of EOBRs will grow and make paper logbooks obsolete.

“Drivers tend not to realize that CSA 2010 will personally impact them and their driving records,” said Larry Ahlers, vice president of transportation for Old Castle Architectural Inc, during an Aug. 3 Webinar presented by Fleet Owner and Truckload Carriers Assn. and sponsored by Xata. “EOBRs give you a great deal of opportunity to proactively manage safety and compliance.”

The bill has the support of several big carriers, including J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Knight Transportation, Maverick USA, Schneider National and U.S. Xpress Enterprises, all of who have joined forces to form the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security.

“The use of on-board recorders as outlined in the Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act will enhance accountability, compliance, and safety,” said Patrick E. Quinn, co-chairman and president of U.S. Xpress Enterprises in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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