Truckers Take Government to Court Over Electronic Logbook Mandate
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents tens of thousands of truckers, is mounting a legal challenge to a new federal requirement for drivers to electronically log their hours behind the wheel.
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (49 U.S.C. 113). Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety…
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“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.”
FMCSA announced the final rule last week that 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.
The FMCSA is mandating that truck drivers use ELDs to track their record of duty status and compliance with HOS regulations even though such devices can only track movement of a vehicle and approximate location.
OOIDA has 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.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the only national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.