FMCSA EOBR rule 395.16, which would require fleets failing 10% of an Hours of Service audit sample to use electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs), was recently sent back to the FMCSA. The 7th District Court of Appeals called for revisions to address OOIDA objections regarding driver harassment. This decision was met with cheers, jeers and confusion, depending on one’s stance on EOBRs and 395.16.
We have heard from some clients and prospects who feel that 395.16 is dead in the water, but that’s hardly the case. FMCSA has communicated through the Federal Register that they will not appeal the OOIDA court case. In the same Federal Register notice, FMSCA indicated they will go through a new rule-making process. The MCSAC subcommittee taskforce for EOBRs will continue its efforts to define the technical specifications lacking in the released regulation. Xata Corporation is involved in this part of the process to ensure it is fair to fleets and drivers in the industry.
With the statements from FMCSA, and the work of MCSAC continuing, the possibility of a new EOBR regulation going into effect is still very real, though a startling number of myths still surround the use of EOBRs and what they mean for fleets. To learn about these myths, check out our EOBR myths blog series.
Another issue we’ve recently seen in the market was just highlighted in the October 10, 2011 Transport Topics article, “Carriers Undeterred by the EOBR Delay.” The article highlights a number of fleets and operators who are—despite the interruption of getting the EOBR mandate in place—going ahead with their planned EOBR rollouts because of the cost savings and ability to better stay compliant with CSA and other rules.
Regardless of any pending EOBR-related rules, Xata’s stance is that from a business operations point of view, EOBR solutions help fleets save on ongoing operations costs and help operators maintain a safer fleet.