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Proposed Federal Regulation Will Require Electronic On-Board Recorders For Commercial Motor Vehicles

The federal government has proposed a new Missouri motor carrier regulation to alter Hours of Service regulations. The proposed rule requires the use of electronic on-board recorders for particular commercial motor vehicles operating in interstate commerce.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency of the federal government, recently proposed a change to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. HOS rules primarily limit the number of consecutive hours that a commercial motor vehicle driver can operate. The goal of HOS rules is to keep fatigued, sleep-deprived truck drivers from endangering themselves and others by operating vehicles on short rest. Fewer fatigued truck drivers means fewer Missouri truck accidents.

The proposed rule amends current Missouri trucking regulations to require particular motor carriers to utilize electronic on-board recorders to document the hours of service for their drivers. Electronic on-board recorders systematically monitor compliance with HOS rules. While the proposed rule does not relieve motor carriers from all HOS recordkeeping, motor carriers who use electronic on-board recorders will no longer have to keep supporting documents that verify driving time. The electronic on-board recorder would supplant the documentation previously required. The proposed rule additionally requires all motor carriers to systematically monitor the HOS of their drivers. If the proposed rule becomes final, motor carriers would have 3 years to comply with the new requirements.

The proposal also seeks to reduce the burden of paperwork imposed on motor carriers, which in turn will increase compliance with HOS regulations. Increased HOS compliance means safer highways, because driver fatigue and unrealistic schedules cause Missouri trucking accidents.