The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has flung a Hail Mary pass in its quest to overturn the electronic logging device mandate, petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether the regulation violates the Fourth Amendment.

The April 12 filing came three months to the day after OOIDA was denied a rehearing by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit of an October ruling by a panel of that court.

The panel had found against the association, determining that the ELD rule would not violate drivers’ rights to privacy under the Fourth Amendment.

But along with the issue of protecting driver privacy, in its petition to the Supreme Court, OOIDA is also seeking a ruling on whether the ELD rule violates the Fourth Amendment by failing to establish a regulatory structure at the state and federal levels that serves as a substitute for a warrant.

“We believe that the Seventh Circuit erred in allowing warrantless searches of 3.5 million drivers, designed specifically to uncover evidence of criminal activity,” Jim Johnston, president and CEO of OOIDA said. “In doing so, the Seventh Circuit decision splits directly with rulings by both the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts.

“This is also the first time that the pervasively regulated industry exception has been applied directly to the search of an individual to serve the ordinary needs of criminal law enforcement,” he added. 

Johnston also said that OOIDA was “very disappointed and surprised by the ruling against us by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals [in January]. “That same court had ruled in our favor on a previous lawsuit of ours on this same issue.”

He added that OOIDA will also continue “to pursue the [ELD] issue on the congressional side” as part of its “Knock Out Bad Regs” campaign and it will “continue to communicate with the Trump administration about this and other regulations.”

According to OOIDA, requiring electronic monitoring devices on commercial vehicles “does not advance safety since they are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording compliance with hours-of-service regulations.”

As it stands now, the ELD regulation is a final federal rule. Compliance will start to kick in this December.

Related: 14 Things You Need to Know Before ELDs Become Mandatory

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David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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