OOIDA will ask for rehearing on ELD lawsuit

By Land Line staff

The same court that rejected the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s first try at mandating electronic logs recently ruled that the agency has satisfied the objections made by OOIDA. In a ruling filed Oct. 31, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied OOIDA’s legal challenge.

But OOIDA’s battle to overturn the government mandate to electronically track commercial drivers is not over.

OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston said the Association strongly disagrees with the court’s ruling. "This issue is of vital importance to our members and all small-business truckers," said Johnston. "For that reason, we have decided to petition for a rehearing of a court decision regarding our lawsuit."

After the FMCSA published the final rule in December 2015 mandating the use of electronic logs in the trucking industry, OOIDA filed a petition seeking to overturn and vacate the final rule. OOIDA argued that

  1. ELDs will not record enough information automatically;
  2. the rule fails to protect drivers sufficiently from harassment;
  3. the rule’s benefits will not outweigh its costs;
  4. the rule fails to protect the confidentiality of personal data collected by ELDs; and
  5. the rule violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

OOIDA says the government’s excuses for mandating electronic logging devices (ELDs) are weak and fail to justify violating the Fourth Amendment rights of professional truck drivers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled against the association last month on the lawsuit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. OOIDA has until Dec. 15, 2016 to file a petition asking the full court to hear the case en banc.

An en banc petition requests that all of the judges in the 7th Circuit hear the case as opposed to the three-judge panel that heard the case initially.

OOIDA had previously challenged a similar ELD mandate in the courts and won their case. In August 2011, the court vacated a proposed electronic logbook rule based on the argument of harassment of drivers.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, pointed out that the same court heard OOIDA’s case in 2011, and they had been very concerned about all of the arguments raised, not just harassment.

"In our previous case on this issue, the court stated in its final opinion that our arguments regarding privacy would make for a thorough law exam. But they were none the less able to rule based on just one of our arguments, harassment. This time, we have again raised several issues that should be taken seriously and we hope to have a full review by the court," Spencer said.