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FMCSA Considers Mandatory Electronic On-Board Recorders For Trucks

Posted on Dec 19, 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently considering a number of new nationwide commercial trucking regulations that they hope will make our roads safer and cut the number of truck accidents and truck accident injuries, including stricter hours of service for truck drivers as well as a sleep apnea screening process for truckers with a body mass index of 35 or higher. Perhaps the most controversial proposed new regulation is required electronic logging systems for all commercial trucks. 

Currently, truckers are required by a federal mandate to record their activities on the road – including maintenance, rest stops, and hours traveled. However, critics of the system say that these manual logs aren’t always accurate. At the same time, many larger truck companies have switched over to electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) that have a computer and GPS system track the movement of the vehicle as well as when the engine is running. 

Many traffic safety advocates believe that requiring an electronic logging system in every tractor-trailer and big rig would prevent drivers from driving for a longer time period than is legal and therefore prevent fatigued truckers from drifting off behind the wheel or losing concentration while driving. However, opponents of the new regulation say that the EOBRs are not only expensive but they also treat truckers as if they are trying to break rules. 

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