The agency responded that such enforcement would have been contrary to regulations. FMCSA had published guidance that said trucks can use “clear” window films as long as at least 70 percent of the normal light is transmitted.
Anyone encountering an instance where compliant window films have been disallowed should contact the Office of Enforcement and Compliance, FMCSA says.
The Skin Care Foundation says ultraviolet radiation is associated with most skin cancers, which affects one in five Americans.
— Jill Dunn
Drivers voice EOBR concerns at listening session
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration opened the floor to drivers so the agency could gather commentary about electronic onboard recorders and their alleged use to harass drivers. During a listening session in March at the Mid-America Trucking Show, many who spoke expressed disdain for not only use of EOBRs but the agency’s intent, too.
FMCSA administrator Anne Ferro posed questions to drivers about their experiences with recorders and as to whether they could be viable options to produce both compliant and safe truck operators and flexibility, relative to concerns over limitations of hour of service regulations.
Jim Freeland, leased to Douglas and Sons of Statesville, N.C., complained that companies interested in selling EOBRs are behind much of the push for EOBRs, and that government regulators should “get an honest job.”
“You can’t regulate truck drivers,” he said. “It’s like trying to regulate bootleggers.”
Owner-operator Ken Stewart and others said EOBRs are being used to harass drivers because dispatchers have real-time log book information yet lack other information about drivers’ schedules, such as whether they are sleeping or need to sleep. “You as a professional know when you’re fatigued, know when it’s time to rest,” Stewart said.
Jack McComb, an owner-operator leased to Landstar, said the accuracy of EOBRs, at least years ago when he used one at a different carrier, was terrible, partly because GPS signals are undependable. “Some days I could drive 14 hours before it would send me a message you’ve driven your 10 hours. Others days, I’d drive five to six hours, then get a message you’ve reached your limit, you have to pull over and park now. Once I was sitting in Salt Lake City, the system showed I was in Laramie, Wy. Those are not small errors – those are major errors.”
Owner-operator Greg Petit said he’s sat at docks for up to 14 hours while warehouse personnel did other tasks. “There’s nothing that can’t be loaded or unloaded in a two-hour period,” said Petit, a 33-year trucking veteran.
“You all keep putting it on us, it’s all our fault,” he said. “Take on the real problem. Stop coming after us with this – not only with EOBRs, but with all of it.”
McComb questioned why so much effort is put into ensuring truck drivers are safe when the emphasis needs to be on ensuring that four-wheelers are safe. “They’re the ones causing 99 percent of the problems out there,” he said.
Ferro acknowledged that while truck-related fatal crashes have fallen 24 percent in recent years, truck drivers are still at fault for some highway fatalities.