Feds to take comments on EOBR technology

Updated Oct 12, 2011

A federal advisory group is accepting feedback before making recommendations for any future rulemaking to re-establish electronic on-board recorders specifications.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2010 EOBR final rule on Aug. 26. The FMCSA has said it will
not appeal and will issue a final rule to remove the regulatory text from federal code.

The rule had mandated the devices for carriers with significant hours-of-service violations and set new EOBR technical requirements for use in lieu of handwritten records of duty status by June 2012.

After the 2010 rule’s publication, enforcement and supplier stakeholders urged certain requirements be revisited. Some communications methods viable during rule development now are not appropriate because of new technology and government security standards, they said.

At the agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee’s June meeting, the FMCSA asked members for suggestions on the rule’s functional specifications to address these concerns. The agency appoints industry representatives to the 19-member MCSAC and tasks them with making recommendations on issues.

The MCSAC formed an EOBR subcommittee, which will meet Oct. 24-25. The subcommittee and the agency will discus specifications for wireless communications protocols that may be necessary for successful and secure transmission.

The full MCSAC will discuss the issue Oct. 26-27 and the subcommittee will submit its report afterward. The committee will review the report in December when it finalizes recommendations to the agency.

The Oct. 24-27 meeting in Arlington, Va., is open to the public, who also can provide comments at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) each meeting day. Written comments, which must include the Docket No., FMCSA-2006-26367, may be submitted by Oct. 14 by one of the following methods:

  • Online, using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.
  • By mail to Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation; 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE; West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140; Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • By fax at (202) 493-2251.

More information is here in the meeting notice published in the Oct. 7 Federal Register.

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