FMCSA to Rule on SFD, EOBR, HOS in 2013

Key fleet safety measures are expected to take effect as soon as 2013, according to a recent article in Fleet Owner. The magazine covered a speech by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Anne Ferro, who revealed her Agency’s plans for the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD), Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBR), Hours of Service (HOS), and other hot-button issues for trucking companies.

SFD – Although the Safety Fitness Determination rule is not due until next year, FMCSA expects to publish its intended changes in September, following a four-month comment period.

EOBR – The EOBR rule probably won’t be finalized for another two years. Following a lawsuit by the Owner Operators and Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) to prevent driver harassment, the FMCSA had to revise its EOBR specifications. EOBRs are covered in greater detail at Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ) and in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on the FMCSA web site.

HOS – Changes to the driver hours of service regulations may also take two years, according to the report of Ferro’s speech. The new HOS limits will focus specifically on “cumulative fatigue.”

The speech also touched on crash accountability, a drug and alcohol test clearing house, employer notification and anti-fraud measures that weed out “reincarnated” or “chameleon” carriers. FMCSA is also looking at ways to limit or regulate detention time, to relieve some of the schedule pressure that could tempt drivers to speed or compromise hours of service limits.