Kansas City, MO- Recently, to enhance the safety of large commercial trucks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced they would require all truck drivers in the U.S. to use electronic log books, or e-logs, by the end of 2017. But a lawsuit filed last week on behalf of independent truck drivers alleges e-logs violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a lawsuit with Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which argued that the FMCSA does not have sufficient data to show that e-logs actually reduce truck accidents. The lawsuit also claims that requiring these devices violates a trucker’s constitutional protections from unreasonable searches and seizures since no warrant is required to view the information contained on an e-log.
Last December, the FMCSA announced they would make e-logs mandatory for trucking companies in an effort to reduce fatigued driving accidents. Currently, truckers use paper log books in which they manually record their driving times, but the federal agency maintains these log books are easily forged and altered. E-logs would be much more difficult to forge and would help enforce federal hours-of-service regulations.
“This mandate means monitoring the movement and activities of real people for law enforcement purposes and is an outrageous intrusion of the privacy of professional truckers,” Jim Johnston, OOIDA president and CEO, said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
Whether the OOIAD’s challenge to the e-log devices will be successful has not been determined yet, but the Wall Street Journal pointed out they won a challenge in 2011 which argued that there were no protections for drivers whose employers might use the e-logs to harass them.
The FMCSA said in a press release last December that e-logs or ELDs could “save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.”
Another major trucking organization, the American Trucking Association, is in favor of the e-log book rule.
The size and weight of commercial trucks make them very dangerous vehicles and too many truckers are willing to violate federal safety regulations. That is why the FMCSA thinks of new ways to make the industry safe, e-logs is just one of their latest recommendations. Of course, electronic logs are not going to prevent all truck accidents, but they are devices that can save some lives and prevent many people from suffering catastrophic injuries.
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To find an experienced truck accident lawyer near your Missouri location, just visit the contact page at USAttorneys and fill out the contact form. We’ll refer your case to a legal professional who’ll help you obtain the best settlement possible. And if you are an injured truck driver, we can help you locate a workers’ compensation attorney.