Technology Can’t Detect a Tired Trucker


The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) responded to the announcement by U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) about a mandate for EOBRs.

They plan to introduce a bill to mandate electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) for interstate commercial motor carriers.

“With all due respect to Senator Pryor, EOBRs will not improve highway safety. However, they sure will cost small-business truckers their hard-earned money and their privacy,” said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of OOIDA.

“EOBRs are nothing more than over-priced record keepers lobbied by big business trucking companies to wipe out small business competition,” said Spencer.

EOBRs cannot accurately and automatically record a driver’s hours of service and duty status. They can only track the movement and location of a truck, and they require human interaction to record any change of duty status. Therefore, such as in the case of loading and unloading time, the device is incapable of determining the actual duty status of drivers without interaction from drivers indicating to the device that they are on-duty. Loading and unloading time should typically be logged as “on-duty, not driving” in order to accurately reflect the hours a driver has worked.

OOIDA also contends that the government has ignored a federal statute to ensure that EOBRs will not be used to harass vehicle operators. An analysis conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said that “companies use EOBRs to enforce company policies and monitor drivers’ behavior in other ways.”

“Companies can and do use technology to harass drivers by interrupting rest periods,” said Spencer. “They can contact the driver and put on pressure to get back on the road to get the most of his or her on-duty time. This mandate would be a step backward in the effort toward highway safety and is an overly burdensome regulation that simply runs up costs.”

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About Jason

I'm just a EX-truck driver, trying to pass along a little information. I been in the Trucking Industry as a driver for over 15 years. I have driven both as an owner operator and as a company driver. I have also been a driver instructor for an accredited truck driving school in KY. I am no longer a truck driver, but I consider myself to be a watchdog for the trucking industry. In fact this site is the #1 site for getting the real news about trucking. We don't hold back here, you will hear the full story.