The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a proposed rule that would require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to install electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) to monitor their drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service (HOS) requirements. EOBRs are devices attached to commercial vehicles that automatically record the number of hours drivers spend operating the vehicle. The proposed rule also would relieve interstate motor carriers from retaining certain HOS supporting documents, such as delivery and toll receipts, which are currently used to verify the total number of hours drivers spend operating the vehicle. Obviously, however, the EOBRs cannot record time spent by drivers doing non-driving activity such as loading and unloading a vehicle, which also factors into the drivers’ HOS.

Under the proposal, interstate carriers currently using Records of Duty (RODS) logbooks to document drivers’ HOS would be required to begin using EOBRs within three years following the effective date of the rule. Short-haul interstate carriers using timecards to document HOS would not be required to use EOBRs. Violations of the proposed rule would bring with them penalties of up to $11,000 for each offense.

Comments to the proposed rule may be submitted at, by fax to (202) 493-2251, or by mail or hand delivery to:

Docket Management Facility
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
West Building, Ground Floor Room W12-140
Washington, D.C. 20590.

All comments should include Docket Number FMCSA-2010-0167.