The Department of Transportation on Monday proposed all trucking companies be required to install electronic onboard recorders to monitor driver hours of service.
The proposed rule would replace paper logbooks with electronic devices. Truckers would no longer have to keep delivery and toll receipts to support their logs.
The proposal will divide the trucking industry, pitting larger carriers against smaller companies and owner-operators concerned by the potential cost of EOBRs.
Motor carriers would have three years to comply with the rule, but violators would face civil penalties of up to $11,000 per offense, the FMCSA said in its proposal.
The EOBR proposal is the third major initiative in two years from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration aimed at truck safety and driver work hours.
It follows the release in December of proposed hours of service rules that would reduce the amount of time truckers may drive and work each day and week.
The EOBR proposal would require carriers to "systematically" monitor driver compliance with the hours of service regulations.
The latest proposal also builds on the Compliance, Safety and Accountability program, which went live in December and will include a rulemaking this year.
CSA will make it easier for FMCSA and state officials to identify and crack down on unsafe trucking operations. It largely focuses on truck driver behavior.
The proposal also builds on a rule issued last April that requires carriers with "serious patterns" of hours of service violations to install EOBRs.
"This proposal is an important step in our efforts to raise the safety bar for commercial carriers and drivers," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.
"We cannot protect our roadways when commercial truck and bus companies exceed hours-of-service rules," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
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