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Federal Rule Issued on Electronic Onboard Recorders for Companies with History of Serious Violations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is cracking down on bus companies engaged in interstate service with a history of hours of service violations by requiring them to equip their vehicles with electronic on-board recorders.

While the U.S. Department of Transportation said it will consider a broader mandate later this year, bus and truck companies with 10 percent or more HOS violations during a compliance review must install the EOBRs for a minimum of two years, starting with vehicles manufactured on or after June 4, 2012. FMCSA said the new rule issued last week also provides new technical performance standards for EOBRs installed in commercial motor vehicles, including requirements for recording the date, time and location of a driver’s duty status.

It’s estimated that nearly 5,700 interstate carriers will use EOBRs after the final rule’s first year of implementation, which begins on June 1, 2012. Companies that voluntarily purchase vehicles equipped with EOBRs will receive relief from some of FMCSA’s requirements to retain HOS supporting documents, such as toll receipts used to check the accuracy of driver logbooks.

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