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Trust but Verify Proposed mandate would require electronic on-board recorders

BY RW STAFF On September 29, U.S. Senators

Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) introduced a bipartisan bill (S.3884) which, if passed, would require “all commercial motor vehicles involved in interstate commerce and subject to the hours of service and record of duty state requirements…[to be] equipped with an electronic on-board recording device to improve compliance with hours of service regulations.” Announcing the proposed Commercial

Driver Compliance Improvement Act, Pryor said, “I don’t want to see more lives lost due to driver fatigue resulting from log book manipulation.” The legislation proposes to change the way truck drivers have verified their on-duty and off-duty status since the 1930s – filling out paper log books that are turned into their employers, as long as 13 days after the fact. Pryor said that after listening to

representatives from the trucking industry, the science community and law enforcement agencies, “I’ve come to learn that there is an available and affordable 21st century technology that can ensure accurate logs, enhance compliance, and reduce the number of fatigued drivers on the road. They are being used today, and they are producing results. I believe that widespread utilization of these devices as soon as possible will significantly reduce further loss of life resulting from driver fatigue.” Recent reports by the Federal Motor

Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show a correlation between fatigued truck drivers and highway accidents. Since stricter hours- of-service rules were enacted in January 2004, there has been a 33 percent drop in crash fatalities, according to the FMCSA. Difficulty in accurately recording and

enforcing the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations has spurred the need for a more reliable means of recording the information. The FMCSA has allowed on-board recorders (EOBRs) to track drivers’ hours-of-service

14 ROADWISE | ISSUE 5, 2010 |

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