Since March 2016, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has been spearheading a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) rule that requires truck drivers and operators to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track hours of service.
Stating that the mandate violates “drivers’ Constitutional protections against warrantless searches and seizures and that the rule did not meet Congressional stipulations set for an ELD mandate” (as well as other issues outside of trucking), the OOIDA hoped to have the rule struck in court. After various failed cases, including the denial of an appeal for all 13 judges of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear their arguments, the OOIDA took their case to the next (and likely last) stop — the U.S. Supreme Court.
On June 12, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court made its final decision — and what many consider to be a death blow to the OOIDA’s challenge — to not hear the lawsuit challenging the use of ELDs. “With the high court’s rejection, the lawsuit will go no further” and will thereby effectively uphold the ELD mandate and the December 18, 2017 compliance deadline.
“We are extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court does not see the merit in reviewing our case with so many questions about its constitutionality,” stated Jim Johnston, OOIDA President. However, the organization has plans to continue their fight against the ELD mandate.
As a victory for the U.S. Department of Transportation, this court ruling is also favored by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), who said they are “pleased to see that the Supreme Court will not interfere with the implementation of this important, and Congressionally mandated, safety rule…”
The OOIDA may engage Congress on the issue, but it’s likely that it won’t go anywhere with lawmakers, as both Democrats and Republicans alike are in favor of the mandate.
With the outcome of the Supreme Court’s ELD ruling, and the unlikeliness that Congress or the White House will touch the issue, many trucking associations are encouraging members not to wait until the last minute (December 18, 2017) to become ELD compliant. Instead, they’re encouraging trucking companies, large and small, to take the time now to find and train themselves on a great e-log product.
We understand that these are frustrating times, but if you’re just now beginning your ELD research, thanks to this news, don’t overlook My20 by Konexial. It’s the only ELD that truly aims to put the driver first…because we believe you shouldn’t expect any less.