- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) formally rebuffed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) court briefs supporting the implementation of electronic logging devices for all truck drivers, set for December 2017.
- The association sued the federal regulator in March 2016 and both parties are set to go to trial in September. Last June, the regulator submitted court briefs in support of the final rule, backed by two Washington-based trucking alliances. Friday's reply challenges those arguments.
- The reply claims the final rule erodes the drivers right against unreasonable search and seizure; does not protect against driver harassment; fails to justify the regulation's cost; dismisses privacy concerns; and ignores the technical failings of electronic logging devices.
The electronic logging device rule was implemented as a safety measure to allow truckers and companies to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty data, according to the FMCSA.
The rule is also an attempt at compliance with a congressional mandate to implement electronic logging devices on commercial vehicles. The devices synchronize with vehicle engines to automatically record driving times, although the devices can only track movement and still rely on the driver the manually change the status as on- or off-duty.
It is not the first time the association has taken to court to overturn the specific mandate, however. The OOIDA won a similar battle against the FMCSA in 2011 over the possibility of driver harassment by companies through the use of electronic tracking devices.
In addition, the association contests that the implementation of this law violates truck drivers' Fourth Amendments rights, similar to how the mandated installation of a GPS in private vehicles would be considered government oversight.
Proponents of the regulation argue the rule would eliminate paper logbooks, shortening the time and efforts drivers and carriers must undergo to audit hours of service driver compliance. The regulator argues increased hours of service compliance would decrease fatigue-related crashes.