ATA wants EOBR safety, cost effectiveness
May 15, 2007 10:08 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) wants empirical evidence that on-board recorder (EOBR) use will produce safety benefits and be cost effective, according to recent testimony before a Senate Transportation Subcommittee.
In a news release, ATA said that Richard Reiser, chairman of ATA's hour-of-service committee and Werner Enterprises Inc vice-president, testified May 1 that that association urges that basic performance specifications for EOBRs be clearly defined and finalized.
If the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) moves forward with its current regulatory approach, it should provide meaningful incentives for motor carriers to voluntarily adopt EOBRs for compliance purposes, Reiser stated.
"In addition, both government and industry need to recognize that hours-of-service rules are a fairly rudimentary approach to addressing the complex issue of human fatigue and alertness," Reiser stated. "The transportation industry and regulators need to move toward alertness and fatigue management programs that more comprehensively address this important issue.
"There is little, if any, empirical evidence showing that EOBR use reduces driver fatigue, prevents accidents, improves safety, and lowers costs."
Motor carriers must make decisions in the course of product selection and need assurance that:
•The EOBR design requirements are fully and adequately determined.
•Performance specifications are recognized as the standard to be met by EOBR equipment and service providers.
•The EOBR system will function as expected in a secure environment. Even more immediately significant is that without final, definitive and acceptable performance specifications for EOBRs:
•It is highly unlikely that motor carriers will invest in such systems (preferring to wait and buy the compliant version).
•The EOBR vendor community will likely promote current designs and systems rather than make technological improvements (preferring to wait and produce a compliant version).
•Research that could illustrate the benefits and costs of EOBRs will be placed on hold (preferring to model methodology with the new compliant version).
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