Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
Truckers will ask for rehearing on ELD lawsuit
A national association of small-business truckers says it will petition for a rehearing of a court decision regarding their lawsuit against a government mandate to electronically track commercial truck drivers.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says the government’s excuses for mandating electronic logging devices (ELDs) are weak and fail to justify violating the Fourth Amendment rights of professional truck drivers.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled against the association last month on the lawsuit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. OOIDA has until Dec. 15, 2016 to file a petition asking the full court to hear the case en banc.
OOIDA had previously challenged a similar ELD mandate in the courts and won their case. In August 2011, the court vacated a proposed electronic logbook rule based on the argument of harassment of drivers.
Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, pointed out that it was the same court that heard OOIDA’s case back then and they had been very concerned about all of the the arguments raised, not just harassment.
“In our previous case on this issue, the court stated in its final opinion that our arguments regarding privacy would make for a thorough law exam. But they were none the less able to rule based on just one of our arguments, harassment. This time, we have again raised several issues that should be taken seriously and we hope to have a full review by the court,” said Spencer.
FMCSA had announced the final rule in December 2015 that mandates the use of electronic logbooks for all interstate commerce in trucks that are model year 2000 and newer. OOIDA filed its intent to legally challenge on the next day, following up with the lawsuit filed in March 2016. The federal mandate that is scheduled to go into effect in December 2017
Commercial truck drivers are restricted to a limited number of working and driving hours under current regulations. The FMCSA’s mandate requires that truck drivers use ELDs to track their driving and non-driving activities even though such devices can only track movement and location of a vehicle. OOIDA’s lawsuit states that requiring electronic monitoring devices on commercial vehicles does not advance safety, is arbitrary and capricious and violates Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Association says the mandate fails to comply with a congressional statute requiring ELDs to accurately and automatically record changes in drivers’ duty status. ELDs can only track vehicle movement and must rely on drivers to manually input changes in duty status. Therefore, OOIDA contends the mandated devices are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording hours of service compliance.
On the issue of searches and seizures, OOIDA said the Supreme Court has previously found that prolonged use of a warrantless GPS tracking device on a vehicle is clearly a search within the meaning of the 4th amendment.