[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 91 (Monday, May 12, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 26868-26869]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10822]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 395

Notice of Regulatory Guidance: Automatic On-Board Recording 

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of regulatory guidance.


SUMMARY: FMCSA issues regulatory guidance on two issues involving 
roadside inspection of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) equipped with 
automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) to assist drivers with 
hours-of-service (HOS) recordkeeping and compliance. All prior Agency 
interpretations and regulatory guidance, including memoranda and 
letters, may no longer be relied upon to the extent they are 
inconsistent with this guidance.

DATES: This regulatory guidance is effective May 12, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, phone (202) 366-4325, email 
[email protected].


Legal Basis

    The Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-554, Title II, 98 
Stat. 2832, October 30, 1984) (the 1984 Act) authorizes the Secretary 
of Transportation to regulate CMVs and equipment, and the drivers and 
motor carriers that operate them 49 U.S.C. 31136(a)]. Section 211 of 
the 1984 Act also gives the Secretary broad power to ``prescribe 
recordkeeping and reporting requirements'' and to ``perform other acts 
the Secretary considers appropriate'' (49 U.S.C. 31133(a)(8) and (10)). 
The Administrator of FMCSA has been delegated authority under 49 CFR 
1.87(f) to carry out the functions vested in the Secretary by 49 U.S.C. 
chapter 311, subchapters I and III, relating to CMV programs and safety 


    Motor carriers began to use automated HOS recording devices in the 
mid-1980s to replace paper records. The Federal Highway Administration, 
the agency at that time responsible for motor carrier safety 
regulations, published a final rule in 1988 that defined AOBRDs and set 
forth performance standards for their use (53 FR 38670, September 30, 

AOBRD Display, Recording, and Printing Requirements

    FMCSA has been informed that inspection officials sometimes request 
drivers to provide printouts from AOBRDs, or to email or fax records of 
duty status (RODS) to an enforcement official. The Agency has also been 
advised that, in some cases, inspection officials have issued citations 
to CMV drivers because their AOBRDs did not display certain 
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) have never 
required AOBRDs to be capable of providing printed records at the 
roadside, although a driver may voluntarily do so if his/her AOBRD has 
that capability. Such printed information must meet the display 
requirements of Sec.  395.15.
    The AOBRD requirements for recording--but not displaying--
information reflect mid-1980s information technology. These 
requirements were developed when small electronic displays were 

[[Page 26869]]

uncommon and costly, and the amount and type of information they could 
display were limited. The earliest displays could show only text, not 
graphics--hence the requirement for the ``time and sequence of duty 
status'' rather than the Sec.  395.8 graph grid. The additional 
information that is recorded but not displayed is intended for use 
during an audit of the carrier's HOS records.

Regulatory Guidance

    FMCSA amends the April 4, 1997, publication to add questions 5 and 
6 production of records during a roadside inspection.


    Add Sec.  395.15 Questions 5 and 6, to read as follows:
    Question 5: What information is required to be displayed on the 
    (1) Section 395.15(i)(5) requires that AOBRDs with electronic 
displays must be capable of displaying the following: ``(i) Driver's 
total hours of driving today; (ii) The total hours on duty today; (iii) 
Total miles driving today; (iv) Total hours on duty for the 7 
consecutive day period, including today; (v) Total hours on duty for 
the prior 8 consecutive day period, including the present day; and (vi) 
The sequential changes in duty status and the times the changes 
occurred for each driver using the device.''
    (2) While Sec.  395.15(c) requires additional information be 
recorded by the AOBRD, only the specific information listed in Sec.  
395.15(i)(5) must be displayed.
    (3) The two provisions differ because of the data display 
limitations of a minimally compliant AOBRD.
    Question 6: Must an AOBRD be capable of providing a hardcopy 
    Guidance: No, the FMCSRs do not require AOBRDs to provide a 
hardcopy printout for an enforcement official. As long as the 
information made available for display on the AOBRD meets the 
requirements of Sec.  395.15(i)(5), the driver and motor carrier are 
not required to provide additional RODS documentation to an enforcement 
official at the roadside. However, an enforcement official may request 
that additional information be provided by email, fax, or similar means 
within 48 hours for follow-up after the conclusion of the roadside 

    Issued on: April 28, 2014.
Anne S. Ferro,
[FR Doc. 2014-10822 Filed 5-9-14; 8:45 am]