May 7, 2012
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV, ChairThe Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ranking MemberCommittee on Commerce, Science and TransportationUnited States SenateWashington, DC 20510The Honorable John L. Mica, ChairThe Honorable Nick J. Rahall II, Ranking MemberCommittee on Transportation and InfrastructureUnited States House of RepresentativesWashington, DC 20515Dear Senators Rockefeller and Hutchison and Representatives Mica and Rahall:As representatives of safety organizations, law enforcement, motor carriers, and professionaltruck drivers, we have come together in support of an important motor carrier safety provisionincluded in S. 1813, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21
Century Act (MAP-21). Theprovision, Section 32301, directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to require theuse of tamper-resistant electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) that are synchronized with thevehicle engine in order to accurately record compliance with hours-of-service (HOS) drivingtime limits. It also provides that EOBRs must allow access by law enforcement to stored dataduring roadside inspections and prohibits EOBRs to be used to harass drivers. Enactment of thisprovision is essential for improving HOS compliance, assisting law enforcement in verifyingcompliance with HOS rules, and advancing highway safety.The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has repeatedly recommended to the DOT thatall trucks and buses be equipped with EOBRs as an effective strategy to improve the accuracy of carrier HOS records. In fact, in 2010-2011, the NTSB included this recommendation on the
agency’s “Most Wanted List” of transportation safety improvements. Currently, EOBRs are
required in all European Union countries as well as numerous countries in South America andAsia.Contrary to the claim that EOBRs are an overly burdensome cost to some businesses, the FederalMotor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has estimated the annualized cost to be between$525 and $785 per truck over a 10-year period. This is a reasonable cost to help improvecompliance with and enforcement of important truck safety rules.