Bipartisan Bill to Require EOBRs in Trucks

What better way to reduce truck accidents than by strictly enforcing Hours of Service rules with electronic on-board recording devices (EOBRs)? This truck accident attorney is pleased by newly proposed bipartisan legislation that calls for universal installation of EOBRs in commercial motor vehicles.

Truck Rest Area

The Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act, reintroduced last week by Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), would require all commercial trucks to use devices that accurately monitor hours on the road. The duo had previously proposed this bill back in September.

Designed to keep fatigued drivers off the road and out of accidents, Hours of Service rules have been hard to enforce, ever since their introduction in the 1930s. Most of the larger trucking companies already use EOBRs voluntarily, but the new bill would mandate such usage. According to Sen. Pryor’s news release, the bill would create a standard to help companies and drivers manage the safety and compliance risks of trucking.

“The trucking industry faces the constant balancing act of keeping fatigued drivers off the road while ensuring stores are full of merchandise,” he said. “After several meetings with the trucking industry and Senate hearings on highway safety, I believe the most effective solution is to require the use of electronic on-board recorders.  This legislation will ensure the entire industry puts safety and driver quality of life before profit.”

The Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act requires universal installation of electronic on-board recording devices in commercial motor vehicles. The DOT will be responsible for issuing regulations within 18 months of the bill’s enactment, as well as setting design and performance standards. The devices must be tamper-resistant and able to:

  • Communicate with the engine’s control module
  • Identify the driver
  • Record driving time
  • Provide real-time location recording
  • Let law enforcement access its data during roadside inspections.
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