Palm Springs, CA- A legal challenge to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule requiring truck drivers to use electronic logging devices (ELD) hit a roadblock this month after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The ruling leaves the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) with few options to stop the rule from being enacted.
ELD Takes Effect December 2017
The ELD rule takes effect in December 2017 and will require trucking companies and owner-operators to switch from paper logbooks to electronic logging devices. Trucking companies and safety advocates pushed for the rule change arguing that paper logbooks are easily altered allowing drivers to skirt hours-of-service rules. On the other hand, ELDs are not easily altered, and they can prove to be important pieces of evidence in civil cases.
According to Trucking Info, the FMCSA claimed in a press release that ELDs would “save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.”The FMCSA says ELDs will save dozens of lives each year.
Last April, the OOIDA launched a legal challenge to the rule, alleging electronic logs violate their constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment since no warrant is needed to view data on an ELD. The OOIDA challenge also asserts that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not have sufficient evidence to show that requiring ELDs would prevent traffic accidents. Previously, the OOIDA has stated that an ELD “does not advance safety since they are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording compliance with hours-of-service regulations.”
Since the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, the lower court ruling stands, though that does not mean justices agree with the Appeals Court ruling. At this point, the OOIDA has little recourse to stop the ELD rule from taking effect.
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