Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comments.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposes to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to incorporate new performance standards for electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) installed in commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) manufactured on or after the date 2 years following the effective date of a final rule. On-board hours-of-service recording devices meeting FMCSA's current requirements and voluntarily installed in CMVs manufactured before the implementation date of a final rule may continue to be used for the remainder of the service life of those CMVs. Under the proposal, motor carriers that have demonstrated a history of serious noncompliance with the hours-of-service (HOS) rules would be subject to mandatory installation of EOBRs meeting the new performance standards. If FMCSA determined, based on HOS records reviewed during each of two compliance reviews conducted within a 2- year period, that a motor carrier had a 10 percent or greater violation rate (``pattern violation'') for any regulation in proposed Appendix C to Part 385, FMCSA would issue the carrier an EOBR remedial directive. The motor carrier would be required to install EOBRs in all of its CMVs regardless of their date of manufacture and to use the devices for HOS recordkeeping for a period of 2 years, unless the carrier already had equipped its vehicles with automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) meeting the Agency's current requirements under 49 CFR 395.15 and could demonstrate to FMCSA that its drivers understand how to use the devices. We also propose changes to the safety fitness standard that would require this group of carriers to install, use, and maintain EOBRs in order to meet the new standard. Finally, FMCSA would encourage industrywide use of EOBRs by providing the following incentives for motor carriers to voluntarily use EOBRs in their CMVs: Revising the Agency's compliance review procedures to permit examination of a random sample of drivers' records of duty status; providing partial relief from HOS supporting documents requirements, if certain conditions are satisfied; and other potential incentives made possible by the inherent safety and driver health benefits of EOBR technology.