A federal appeals court has denied a bid by a group representing thousands of small truckers to re-hear a court decision upholding federal regulations requiring electronic logging devices (ELDs) to be installed by year's end in all trucks built after the year 2000, the trade group said today.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) requested that the full bench of the 7th Circuit Appeals Court re-hear a ruling from a three-judge panel last October that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA's) regulations were legal. OOIDA has argued that the regulations violate the Fourth Amendment rights of illegal search and seizure against truck drivers, and that the agency has presented a weak rationale for justifying the need for a mandate.
FMCSA requires drivers to use ELDs to track their driving and non-driving activities even though such devices can only track the movement and location of a vehicle, OOIDA has argued. The group also maintains that ELDs do not advance safety because they are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording driver compliance with federal regulations governing their hours of service.
Jim Johnston, president and CEO of OOIDA, said in a statement that the group is planning to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court and will press its case with the Trump administration and the new Congress. OOIDA also said it has contacted its members who belong to the "House Freedom Caucus," an organization that recently offered the incoming administration a list of regulations that should be repealed, which includes the ELD mandate.
President-elect Trump has promised his administration will closely scrutinize current and pending regulations with an eye toward possibly gutting many of them. However, a number of analysts have predicted that the mandate will not be on the list, partly because it has passed court muster.
"It's clear now that we have to pull out all the stops to convince lawmakers and the new Trump administration of the need to set aside the ELD mandate," said Johnston.