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January 31, 2011 3:15 PM, EST
U.S. Proposes EOBRs for All Interstate Trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a regulation Monday that would require interstate truck and bus companies to install electronic onboard recorders in vehicles to monitor drivers’ hours of service.

The rule would apply to all companies that are currently required to use logbooks to record compliance under federal hours-of-service regulations, DOT said in a statement Monday.

“This proposal would make our roads safer by ensuring that carriers traveling across state lines are using EOBRs to track the hours their drivers spend behind the wheel,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in the statement.

Under the proposal, carriers that violate the regulation would be fined up to $11,000 per offense. Violations would also have a negative effect on a carrier's safety ratings and federal operating authority.

FMCSA estimates the mandate will effect 500,000 carriers.

The rule would also relieve carriers of the requirement to retain documentation such as toll receipts to verify HOS compliance. A court had told FMCSA to issue a rule defining the supporting document requirement by Jan. 31, and DOT that the EOBR rule fulfills that order.

FMCSA will take public comments on the proposal for 60 days once it publishes the rule in the Federal Register. As of Monday, it had not yet published the rule.