EOBRs will not improve highway safety: OOIDA

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) wants US Congress to know that while electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) sound good on paper, they are no better than paper logbooks for tracking truckers’ hours-of-service.

“There is no data that shows these devices will increase highway safety – none,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s executive vice-president. “EOBRs are a management tool, not a safety device.”

“Believe it or not, there are currently no mandated training or driving experience requirements for someone to become a truck driver.  Many of the folks supporting this bill have fought against training requirements for years,” Spencer said.

OOIDA has long opposed regulatory efforts to mandate EOBRs on commercial vehicles and also opposes the legislation introduced by Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN). The bill, S.3884, not only requires the installation of a device in all trucks, but also requires the real-time tracking of all interstate commercial vehicle drivers.

“This bill presumes truckers will break the law if they are not constantly tracked by the federal government,” said Spencer. “EOBRs will not track all the activities of a driver’s day and will still require the driver’s input to document all hours worked.”

In June, OOIDA filed a legal challenge of an EOBR regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that will mandate the use of the devices for motor carriers with a record of chronic non-compliance with hours-of-service regulations.

“The burdensome cost, the violation of privacy and lack of relevant safety verification make any mandate unjustified,” added Spencer. “Information gathered could be used against drivers that has nothing to do with hours-of-service, and that is beyond the authority of trucking safety regulators.”

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.

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