A new study that has just been commissioned by the federal administration will focus on whether electronic onboard recorders or EOBRs are effective in helping reducing the incidence of driver fatigue, and preventing truck accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced a grant to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute for the study. The study will analyze data from the Department of Transportation, in order to determine whether electronic onboard recorders have the kind of safety benefits that supporters claim.
Specifically, the researchers will analyze crashes involving trucks that were equipped with EOBRs, compared to those that were not. The study will also focus on the costs of these devices, as well as current usage around the country. Orlando trucking accident attorneys have supported the use of these devices in cases involving truckers who have had issues sticking to the work hour restrictions.
The federal administration is on a course to mandate electronic onboard recorders, and a transportation safety funding bill that was recently passed by Congress, includes provisions for this. However, the provision has been controversial, with many lawmakers expressing their opposition to it. Many lawmakers do not believe that electronic onboard recorders are the solution for issues involving truckers driving beyond the hours of service limitations.
The Owner - Operator Independent Drivers Association has been especially critical of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s attempts to mandate electronic onboard recorders for the entire trucking industry. Those efforts are expected to cost as much as $2 billion, and the Owner - Operator Independent Drivers Association says that it cannot meet those expenses. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration believes that the $2 billion may be an overestimated figure. The agency believes that the cost of electronic onboard recorders has come down since the agency made that estimate. In fact, the agency has been looking at ways of reducing the costs to make the devices more affordable.