Why The Trucking Industry Doesn’t Like The Electronic On-Board Recorder

Florida motorists would feel safer if all trucks were fitted with EOBRs.

The Electronic On-Board Recorder (EOBR) is a device that tracks a truck's movements by recording and combining location, distance, speed and time electronically.

EOBRs are supposed to replace the antiquated logbooks many truck drivers keep to provide both the motor carrier and the federal authorities proof that they are abiding by the stringent hours-of-service regulations.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides detailed instructions on the allowed number of hours of driving, on-duty and at rest per day and per period of 7 or 8 days.

Many truck drivers in Florida still use paper and carbon-copy logbooks to fill in their position, time of departure and arrival, and mileage and indicate if they are on-duty, driving or resting. These logs can be faked to reflect what is authorized by the rules, rather than what actually happened. As a consequence, paid-by-the-mile truck drivers can drive longer, increasing the risk of devastating 18-wheeler crashes due to fatigue.

Combining data from the truck's odometer and GPS, EOBRs are hard to tamper with and provide a true picture of what happened, instantaneously and accurately. The FMCSA is planning to introduce EOBRs on all trucks, beginning with those of motor carriers who have been found in chronic non-compliance of the hours-of-service rules.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals to review the FMCSA mandate to install EOBRs. Several major motor carriers have pushed for the introduction of a bill to allow the information contained in EOBRs to be used exclusively by the owner of the device. This would deny victims of truck accidents the right to access evidence of a motor carrier's liability.

We hope that the rights of Florida motorists to drive safely will prevail and that the U.S. trucking industry will finally switch to a mandatory control device that is already widely accepted in many parts of the world.

If you have been hurt in a truck accident caused by someone else, call the Daytona Beach attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert PA today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or send us an email to arrange a free consultation.