Trucking group takes government to court over electronic logbook mandate

- On Dec. 15, The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a lawsuit over a new regulation announced a day earlier by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requiring electronic logging devices (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.”

The FMCSA rule 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. Truck drivers are required to use ELDs to track their record of duty status and compliance with Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations even though such devices can only track movement of a vehicle and approximate location.

OOIDA had 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.

“This regulation is absolutely the most outrageous intrusion into the rights of professional truckers imaginable and will do nothing at all to improve highway safety. In fact, we firmly believe it will do exactly the opposite by placing even more pressure and stress on drivers than they already deal with,” Johnston said.

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