Re: No valid argument against EOBRs, Truck News, November
I am a frequent reader of Truck News. I like this magazine. But your comment about OOIDA’s concerns needs an answer and I think I am competent to answer. I have been truck driving for 22 years in Germany and all over Europe. For the past five years, I have lived in Canada and I am very happy that I escaped this total electronic control.
For example: You are at a loading dock. Loading takes a while and you run out of daily shift time. Don’t move away from the ramp. Don’t drive to the nearby truck stop! It is a violation of HoS. It remains for four weeks on your data record. Within this time, every police and DoT officer can see this. Some will ignore it, some will be glad to fine you. Or: You are 15 minutes away from home and you have no driving time left, because you were trapped in a traffic jam and somebody crashes in your truck. You probably pay the damage out of your own pocket, because of illegal driving. Insurance may refuse payment.
It turned out in Europe that these electronics are a huge income for state budgets. Some handle it fairly, some like Austria and East European states try hard to squeeze out every penny from drivers’ and employers’ pockets.
To allow governments to use EOBRs against notorious HoS violators is to play with fire! As soon as electronic control has its footstep in the trucking industry’s door, this door cannot be closed any more. It will be opened more day by day until total control by government is reached. It is a weapon that can easily be turned around against us and harm our industry -seriously!
I cannot understand how an electronic user can believe such devices don’t fail, never break down and cannot be manipulated. Computers always break down and produce errors. In Europe you can buy devices that fake your records on the black market. What if an EOBR breaks down and the officer accuses you for the breakdown? First the violators will have to install EOBRs, and sometime the whole industry will have to install them. And then FMCSA will slowly restrict truckers’ and employers’ lives. And the very strange fact is, that you as a leading journalist do not see the danger and promote FMCSA’s opinion!
Werner Stumreiter Via e-mail
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News