Electronic Logging Devices or ELD’s are an electronic solution, which assists the professional truck drivers and other commercial motors to track their Hours of Service (HOS) compliance easily and more conveniently. These electronic logging devices are the perfect replacement and upgrade to current automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRD) which track the driver’s record of Duty Status (RODS).
The United States enacted the bill “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” in the year 2012, which is referred as MAP-21. The bill contained the FMCSA requirements to develop the rule mandating the use of Electronic Logging Devices. It also required the commercial truck drivers to upgrade from the current version of Record of Duty Status (RODS) and Hours of Service (HOS) systems to ELD’s so that comply with HOS regulations.
The Appeal of OOIDA’S ELD in Court
In 2016 September, the OOIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association) contended their case against the Department of Transportation to overturn the ELD mandate. Their argument contained five points mainly that formed the base of the case.
1. EID does not record enough information automatically due to the intervention of the human in the system process: This rule proved contrary to the law as it allows the EIDs that are not fully automatic. It seeks to pit one statutory need against the other rather than leaving the agency to balance the competing policy goals, which is endorsed by the Congress.
2. The term “driver harassment” is not perfectly defined in the system and fails to safeguard the harassment rule: The agency considered the input from the drivers, motor carriers, and trade organizations. Hence, the agency gave a reasonable definition of the term “driver harassment”.
3. The cost-benefit analysis of the agency was not adequate and did not justify the implementation of the EID rule: The agency has no need to conduct this analysis, which was mandated by the Congress. Still, if the analysis is mandatory, the provided studies are adequate.
4. The agency did not provide the confidentiality protection for the drivers: The agency implemented a realistic approach in order to protect the drivers in this regard.
5. The ELD mandate imposes an unconstitutional search and seizure on truck drivers: The agency summarizes that there is no violation found in Fourth Amendment. Here the rule itself imposes a search or seizure on an ELD recorded data that fall within the “pervasively regulated industry” exception to the warrant requirement.
OOIDA Challenge Ways
Initially, on April 11th, the OOIDA counsel trailed a petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court and filed the law suit in March 2016 on various backgrounds, which include the violation of the electronic logs, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S Constitution.
On June 8th, 2017, the OOIDA challenged the U.S. Supreme Court to begin the process of deciding if it can accept the group’s challenge to the electronic logging mandate. The justices hold a conference to review the petitions on pending cases and could announce a decision on OOIDA’s petition before it adjourns for summer in June.
The U.S Supreme Court mentioned that it would not hear a lawsuit against the DOT rule requiring the truck operators to use the electronic logging devices to track the track hours of the service. On March 2016 OOIDA brought the lawsuit against the DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In the following month, it ruled against the OOIDA, which favored the DOT by dismissing all the OOIDA’s argument against the mandate.
The U.S Supreme Court outranked the 7th circuit appellate court. When the OOIDA filed a writ of certiorari to take up the case the justices of the Supreme Court conferred on the appeal of OOIDA on June 8th. Later, it issued the decision on the following days, which effectively ends the OOIDA’s court challenge.
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