The Associated Press today reported first that mandated electronic on-board recorders for Hours of Service had been deleted from a House Transportation Bill and then that it had been left in, and opponents of mandated EOBRs say it’s not a ‘done deal,’ yet.
“This is by no means an indication that EOBRs are a done deal,” said a statement from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
“Here we are 20 years after Congress told transportation regulators that truck drivers should be trained before turning them loose on our highways, still pondering if it makes sense for safety,“ said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. “Yet proponents of EOBRs want to spend billions on what will never make up for the lack of training.“
He went on the say that the EOBR mandate “doesn't just have a few warts, it's riddled with tumors, rendering it totally ineffective at improving safety.“
He stressed again that the issue is “far from settled.“
The American Trucking Associations, on the other hand, was quick to applaud EOBR language that at least for now is being left in the proposed highway bill.
ATA “saluted” members of the House and Senate conference committee “for their work in passing a safety-conscious highway bill that lays a solid foundation for addressing America’s need for an efficient goods movement network.”
“This legislation, while not all we could have hoped for as an industry and as users of the highway system, makes tremendous strides in the safety arena and puts down a marker for future improvements to our nation’s freight infrastructure,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said.
Graves said of particular importance was the committee’s inclusion of several initiatives advocated by ATA, including the EOBR mandate for HOS, the creation of a clearinghouse to track drug and alcohol test results, a study of crashworthiness standards for large trucks, the establishment of standards for systems to provide employers with timely notifications of drivers’ moving violations, and mandatory testing of new carriers entering the industry to verify their knowledge of safety requirements.
“Despite misinformation from a vocal minority, the conferees have set our industry on the path to even greater improvements in safety by requiring the Department of Transportation to mandate that truck drivers use electronic devices to record their compliance with the HOS requirements,” Graves said. “This is a tremendous leap forward for trucking, which will bring our compliance systems into the 21st Century, leveling the playing field for our industry and lead to even fewer crashes on our nation’s highways.”
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