5 FMCSA to revise EOBR rule in response to court ruling

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration decided not to appeal a recent court ruling vacating the upcoming electronic onboard recorder rule and will instead address the court’s concerns about “driver harassment” in a revised version.

The rule, previously scheduled to take effect next June, required carriers with a 10-percent or greater HOS violation rate to install EOBRs on all their vehicles. It was a precursor to a broader mandate which would require the devices and all carriers operating in the U.S.

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit agreed with a challenge by owner-operator groups that the rule fails to protect drivers from “harassment” through EOBR technology and the agency did not consider how they should be protected. It then vacated the rule and sent it back to FMCSA for review.

According to Truckinginfo.com, the decision to not appeal the court ruling was mentioned in an announcement of a pending meeting of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC). The agency will remove the text the court found wanting and will post a new version “at a later date.”

The court demanded the FMCSA describe in the rule exactly the steps to prevent harassment.

Meanwhile, the agency and the MCSAC continue to iron out the technical details of the rule, including data security issues, how to transfer data from the EOBR to the inspecting officer, and EOBR performance certification.