Transport Topics reports: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has moved a step closer to publishing two key trucking regulations — a final rule mandating that some fleets use electronic onboard recorders and a proposal aimed at limiting texting and other distracting activities by drivers.

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget signed off on the EOBR rule late Thursday, according to OMB’s Web site.

FMCSA officials have said the rule — which is expected to require fleets with serious hours-of-service violations and other safety issues use the technology to monitor their drivers — is the first of two steps the agency plans to put EOBRs into wider service.

The agency also sent its notice of proposed rulemaking to ban texting by drivers to OMB on Thursday, as part of its effort to combat distracted driving.

Earlier this year, FMCSA issued regulatory guidance outlawing texting by drivers, but said they would also be issuing a series of rules to support that guidance.

Several states have said they either cannot, or do not, intend to enforce the ban until there is a firm rule in place.
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