The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed an appeal to challenge a new regulation mandating electronic logging devices for interstate truckers, saying the device won’t improve safety and is in violation of constitutional rights.
The OOIDA represents small-business truckers and in its appeal of the ELD mandate called the devices arbitrary and capricious, saying that it violates 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The association stated its arguments in a legal brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
“The agency provided no proof of their claims that this mandate would improve highway safety,” said Jim Johnston, OOIDA president and CEO. “There is simply no proof that the costs, burdens and privacy infringements associated with this mandate are justified.”
The ELD Mandate affects an estimated 3 million interstate drivers of vehicles manufactured after model year 2000. By December 2017, drivers will have to replace paper logbooks with electronic devices. The rule strictly prohibits using ELDs to harass drivers and in most cases a carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.
The association previously challenged a similar mandate in August 2011 and the court ruled in favor of OOIDA, agreeing that prolonged use of GPS trackers without a warrant fell within the 4th Amendment’s meaning. When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced the latest ELD mandate in December, the OOIDA filed a petition for review the next day.
At the time, the OOIDA president said that the ELD mandate could have “the single largest, most negative impact on the industry than anything done by FMCSA,” and that the association intended to fight it.
The association is also arguing that ELDs are no more reliable than paper logbooks because the mandate fails to comply with a congressional statute requiring ELDs to accurately and automatically record changes in drivers’ duty status.
“For most truckers, a truck is not just a vehicle but is also an office and a home away from home,” said Johnston. “This mandate means monitoring the movement and activities of real people for law enforcement purposes and is an outrageous intrusion of the privacy of professional truckers.”