By David Owen
National Association of Small Trucking Companies
This Opinion piece appears in the May 14 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues to be dead set on forcing every commercial vehicle in the United States to carry an electronic onboard recorder — better known as an EOBR — despite the device’s hefty price tag and general uselessness as a safety tool.
In defending its determination to saddle motor carriers with these intrusive gizmos, FMCSA insists they will improve highway safety by reducing large truck crashes involving injuries and/or fatalities, but the agency cannot thus far provide statistical evidence that this assertion is true.
Safety, in fact, wasn’t part of the package when the technology that makes EOBRs possible was first being developed — except in the sense of keeping our nation safe. EOBRs are essentially byproducts of the U.S. Department of Defense Global Positioning System, which originally was developed for military purposes.