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The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV, Chair The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ranking Member Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable John L. Mica, Chair The Honorable Nick J. Rahall II, Ranking Member Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
Dear Senators Rockefeller and Hutchison and Representatives Mica and Rahall: As representatives of safety organizations, law enforcement, motor carriers, and professional truck drivers, we have come together in support of an important motor carrier safety provision included in S. 1813, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The provision, Section 32301, directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to require the use of tamper-resistant electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) that are synchronized with the vehicle engine in order to accurately record compliance with hours-of-service (HOS) driving time limits. It also provides that EOBRs must allow access by law enforcement to stored data during roadside inspections and prohibits EOBRs to be used to harass drivers. Enactment of this provision is essential for improving HOS compliance, assisting law enforcement in verifying compliance with HOS rules, and advancing highway safety. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has repeatedly recommended to the DOT that all 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 and Asia. Contrary to the claim that EOBRs are an overly burdensome cost to some businesses, the Federal Motor 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 improve compliance with and enforcement of important truck safety rules.
Letter to Senators Rockefeller and Hutchison and Representatives Mica and Rahall May 7, 2012 Page 2
Our diverse organizations share a common goal - to improve compliance with HOS rules and to improve the safety of all highway users. We strongly urge you to retain Section 32301. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,
Jacqueline S. Gillan President Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Bill Graves President and CEO American Trucking Associations
Joan Claybrook President Emeritus Public Citizen
LaMont Byrd Director of Safety and Health International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Stephen Keppler Executive Director Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
John Lannen Executive Director Truck Safety Coalition
Steve Williams Chairman Alliance for Driver Safety and Security
Chris Burruss President Truckload Carriers Association
cc: House and Senate Members of Conference Committee on HR 4348