On the Open Road, the ears are open as well. Policies and rule makings that affect the Open Road are fortunately open for conversation before becoming paved into laws we must comply by. Certain Open Road-related decisions require more discussion than others. Potentially contentious laws lead to a lot to talk and ire. Electric On-Board Recorders (EOBRs) are one of those points of discussion.
Open Road Topics are Open to the Public
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it will hold a public listening session to solicit information, concepts, ideas, and comments on Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs) and the issue of driver harassment. Specifically, the Agency wants to know what factors, issues, and data it should consider as it addresses the distinction between productivity and harassment: What will prevent harassment from occurring; what types of harassment already exist; how frequently and to what extent harassment happens; and how an electronic device such as an EOBR, capable of contemporaneous transmission of information to a motor carrier, will guard against (or fail to guard against) harassment. Additionally, the Agency will solicit concepts, ideas, and comments from enforcement personnel on the hours-of-service (HOS) information they would need to see on the EOBR display screen to effectively enforce the HOS rules at the roadside and the type of evidence they would need to retain in order to support issuing drivers citations for HOS violations observed during roadside inspections. This session will be held in Bellevue, Washington (WA), and will allow interested persons to present comments, views, and relevant new research that FMCSA should consider in development of Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM). This listening session will be recorded and a transcript of the session will be placed in the docket for FMCSA's consideration. The listening session will also be webcast via the Internet and will allow for email interactivity during the webcast.
Talk is tantamount to proper change. Several professionals in the trucking industry have weighed in regulatory issues, especially those regarding EOBRs. While the conversation today may be EOBRs, tomorrow it may be fuel prices and in ten years it may be flying trucks. No matter the topic, the important thing to recognize is that the Open Road welcomes open conversation.