OOIDA v. Minnesota State Police
A federal judge ruled Minnesota State Patrol’s fatigue inspections, violated truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights. The court held that the fatigue inspections are beyond the scope of CVSA’s (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) Level III inspections.
The lawsuit placed truck drivers out of service after patrol officers, using a checklist, concluded the driver was “fatigued”. This is the first time where a court has ruled in favor of truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights in connection with commercial vehicle and driver inspection procedures.
Cross Border Trucking
OOIDA fought hard against the DOT’s Mexican truck pilot program and was of great help in convincing lawmakers to end money available for the project under the Bush administration. While the Obama administration has renewed efforts to allow Mexican trucks free access to U.S. highways, OOIDA continues its fight to keep the border closed to Mexican trucks.
Truth in Leasing
Leasing rules changed, to bring balance and fairness to owner-operators. OOIDA was careful in bringing the problems of professional truckers to lawmaker’s attention in Government-related hearings. OOIDA fought hard to keep protections for owner-operators after the ICC dissolved. Those efforts paid off when the ICC Termination Act included legal rules to keep the truth-in-leasing rules, allowing truckers to settle carrier disputes by filing a lawsuit.
Tennessee Public Service Commission
In the early 1990s, OOIDA stood up to political corruption on behalf of truckers to stop the widespread abuse of power carried out by one agency’s greedy, unscrupulous leader.
Members had called OOIDA with many reports about cab searches that were wrongfully classified as truck inspections throughout the state of Tennessee. OOIDA filed a lawsuit under the 4th Amendment’s illegal search and seizure clause. During the investigation, OOIDA uncovered astounding corruption taking place within the Tennessee Public Service Commission. It turned out that trucking companies, contributing to the commissioner’s political campaign, were allowed to run their businesses without an inspection or simply receive clean inspection reports. Those who did not give, and especially out-of-state truckers, were searched and given a ticket for even the most minor rule violation. After a long investigation, the Tennessee PSC was abolished by 1995 and its leader’s political career ended.
State Tax Refunds
In 1990, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) brought a lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania for axle taxes that discriminated against out-of-state truckers. This flat fee tax did not accurately reflect the number of miles driven in the state. The ATA asked the state to refund the money to the motor carriers. OOIDA intervened on behalf of owner-operators who also paid the taxes. OOIDA was successful in returning a large portion of approximately $38.3 million to owner-operators.
As of 1996, the largest state tax refund to date was in Alabama, which amounted to $68 million. Alabama was unfairly treating out-of-state truckers by ordering them to pay a marker fee which was not demanded from in-state truckers.
OOIDA has also secured refunds for similar taxes in various other states such as New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Idaho.
Size and Weight Limits
OOIDA’s strong lobbying efforts paid off in 1982 when Congress established nationwide uniform truck size and weight limits, through the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. Later, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) froze the weight of longer combination vehicles and limited them to routes approved by the state.
In the mid-90s, OOIDA was able to convince lawmakers that individual states should decide speed limits—not the U.S. government. Due to OOIDA’s lobbying efforts, uniform speed limit legislation passed in both Ohio and Illinois in 2009.
Cross Border Trucking
OOIDA fought hard against the DOT’s Mexican truck pilot program and was instrumental in convincing lawmakers to end funding for the project.
Since 1973 the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been fighting for the rights of all professional truckers.
We are proud of our history of effective representation. As we grow, we will continue to fight for our members’ best interests in new and more powerful ways.
Journey along a timeline of Association accomplishments, and you will see that OOIDA has made great strides since 1973.
We believe the biggest accomplishments are those yet to come.
Truckers for Troops Telethon
OOIDA’s members have generously participated in this annual fundraiser to send care packages to troops overseas. Starting in 2007 and as of 2019 has raised over a half a million dollars. The fundraiser has benefited hundreds of military personnel overseas in combat zones and veterans facilities here in the U.S.
Additional information can be found on the Truckers for Troops page.