The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association's request to take on the issue of the constitutionality of electronic logging devices.
The June 12 announcement of the court's denial of OOIDA's petition means the court will not hold hearings on whether the regulation violates drivers’ rights to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, which means a lower court ruling upholding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's ELD mandate stands.
Under the electronic logging device rule, motor carriers and drivers must transition to ELDs by Dec. 17 of this year. Those that were using automatic onboard recording devices prior to Dec. 18, 2017, may continue using AOBRDs through Dec. 16, 2019. Suppliers of ELDs must conform to technical specifications, certify their ELDs, and register them with FMCSA.
Along with the issue of protecting driver privacy, in its petition to the Supreme Court, OOIDA also was 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.
When asked to comment on the decision by HDT, OOIDA responded: "We are extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court does not see the merit in reviewing our case with so many questions about its constitutionality. We will continue to pursue the issue on the congressional side, as there are still many questions about the technical specifications and enforcement aspects of the mandate. Until the government is able to answer many fundamental and basic questions about the mandate, they should at least delay its implementation.
"The mandate is the equivalent of warrantless surveillance of truckers and it violates their Fourth Amendment rights. That intrusion on the rights of hard-working Americans cannot be justified. The mandate will not improve safety. It will, however, be another costly regulatory burden heaped upon an already over-regulated industry."
OOIDA has contended in the past that 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.”
Updated 6/12/2017 at 11 a.m. EDT to add OOIDA comments.