New Federal Rule Will Require Electronic On-Board Recorders

clock.jpgThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking at the problem of driver fatigue very seriously. In the latest move designed to reduce the number of tired, drowsy and simply fatigued truckers plying our highways, the agency has passed a rule that requires electronic on-board recorders (EOBR’s) to be installed on trucks of carriers that frequently violate the Hours of Service rule.

The new rule will take effect from June 1, 2012. It will require a carrier found to be in violation of the work hour rules more than 10% of the time in a single compliance review, to have the EOBRs installed in all its trucks. The recorders must be synchronized with the truck’s engine to record precise and accurate data. The device must record the truck driver name, location, duty status, date and time. After an accident, the data can be accessed through the device, helping rule out or confirm the role of driver fatigue as a role in the accident.

Estimates suggest that carriers that break the 10% rule even during a single compliance review have their truck accident rate rise by nearly 40%. Those rates are too high for any Indiana truck accident lawyer to swallow. Having these EOBRs installed on the trucks of carriers that frequently violate the rules, will hep keep the problem of driver fatigue in check.

Last year, we had blogged about our wish list for the incoming FMCSA chief, and installation of electronic on-board recorders was on that list. Also on that list was our hope that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would lower the Hours of Service rules. Indiana truck accident attorneys will be looking forward to encouraging news on that front too. A decision on the work rule is expected in the next few months.