The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has come with a new set of rules aimed to improve highway safety, for both those on the road and those behind the wheels. These rules include the installation of electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) on vehicles to track the hours of service (HOS) put in by the drivers and detect non-compliance, which can be potentially dangerous. It is critical that not only truck operators, but also drivers gain a fair understanding of theFMCSA’s proposed mandate for EOBRs. The FMCSA’s proposed mandate for EOBRs, as published in the Federal Register contains the following rules:
• It will be mandatory for all long-haul interstate trucks to have EOBRs.
• The EOBRs will replace the Records of Duty (RODS) log books that are currently being used by many interstate carriers. So, in essence, the FMCSA’s proposed mandate for EOBRs will also serve to reduce the amount of HOS tracking documents, like delivery and toll receipts, that motor carriers currently have to maintain.
• The FMCSA’s proposed mandate for EOBRs is however not binding on short-haul interstate carriers that use timecards to keep a record of their drivers’ HOS.
There will be strict penalties for non-compliance once the FMCSA’s proposed mandate for EOBRs is put into place. Carriers who flout the rules may face civil penalties of up to $11,000 for each breach. An offense will also adversely affect a carrier’s safety fitness rating and operational authority with the Department of Transportation.
The FMCSA’s proposed mandate for EOBRs has universally been hailed as just the right measure toincrease road safety in the United States. In fact, research has continuously shown that road safety is seriously impaired when carriers do not adhere to HOS rules.
Trucking schools should ideally equip their students with not only knowledge about the FMCSA’s proposed mandate for EOBRs, but also all federal road safety rules that apply to truckers. Knowledge is power andknowing the rules will make truckers more responsible on the road. To ensure that the trucking school you wish to get into has these in the syllabi, check our listings and ratings of trucking schools, at CDL License. Call us at 1-800-878-2537 to know more about your trucking school choices.