Last Thursday the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a proposed rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that would require the use of electronic onboard recorders or EOBRs by certain trucking fleets. According to FMCSA officials, this rule will require trucking fleets whose drivers have a history of violating safety regulations such as hours-of-service regulations to use EOBRs to monitor their drivers.
Also on Thursday, the FMCSA submitted its notice of proposed rulemaking to ban texting by commercial drivers to the OMB. It is critical for the FMCSA to obtain OMB approval for this proposal as some states have refused to enforce the ban without the weight of a firm rule behind it.
Once published, the pair of rules will work in concert to reduce truck accidents on America’s roadways. Trucking companies will be required to use EOBRs to monitor drivers with a track record of ignoring safety regulations, including those who in future ignore the ban on texting and other distracting activities. In my work as a truck accident attorney I have seen the devastating results of drivers ignoring hours-of-service regulations and I applaud the efforts by the FMCSA in the pursuit of these regulations.