The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a lawsuit over a new regulation announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requiring electronic logbooks, known as ELDs.
“This rule has the potential to have the single largest, most negative impact on the industry than anything else done by FMCSA,” said Jim Johnston, OOIDA president and CEO. “We intend to fight it with everything we have available.”
FMCSA announced the final rule last week that mandates the use of electronic logbooks for all interstate commerce in trucks that are model year 2000 and newer. Commercial truck drivers are restricted to a limited number of working and driving hours under current regulations. The FMCSA is mandating that truck drivers use ELDs to track their record of duty status and compliance with hours of service (HOS) regulations.
OOIDA previously challenged a similar mandate in the courts. In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit vacated a proposed electronic logbook rule based on the argument of harassment of drivers.
The Petition for Review that OOIDA has filed this time does not outline the arguments that will be used to challenge the final rule. Arguments will be provided in subsequent filings and during oral arguments in front of the court.
Editors Insight: It will be interesting to see if this suit affects the ELD mandate, which the American Trucking Associations and the Truckload Carriers Association and most transportation providers view as a way to improve both driver safety and public safety.
The independent truckers, who play an important role in the transportation industry, face a harder time complying with the mandate. But the safety improvements that electronic logging devices provide are nonetheless in everyone’s best interest. The ELDs will relieve drivers of the burden of furnishing compliance documents and allow them to focus on their main job. The devices also make drivers more cognizant of safety knowing that their activity is being recorded. 12-17-15 By Elliot Maras