GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — A US mandate requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) does not advance safety, is arbitrary and capricious and violates fourth amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
That was the argument behind the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) appeal of the mandate, issued via a legal brief with the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
“The agency provided no proof of their claims that this mandate would improve highway safety. They didn’t even attempt to compare the safety records of trucking companies that use ELDs and those that do not,” said Jim Johnston, OOIDA president and CEO. “There is simply no proof that the costs, burdens and privacy infringements associated with this mandate are justified.”
“For most truckers, a truck is not just a vehicle but is also an office and a home away from home,” Johnston continued. “This mandate means monitoring the movement and activities of real people for law enforcement purposes and is an outrageous intrusion of the privacy of professional truckers.”
OOIDA gave other reasons to vacate the rule. It argued the mandate fails to comply with a congressional statute requiring ELDs to accurately and automatically record changes in drivers’ duty status. And OOIDA also said ELDs can only track vehicle movement and must rely on drivers to manually input changes in duty status; therefore, OOIDA contends the mandated devices are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording hours-of-service compliance.
OOIDA also argued that the Supreme Court has previously found that prolonged use of a warrantless GPS tracking device on a vehicle is considered a search within the meaning of the fourth amendment. Thus, says OOIDA, FMCSA’s attempt to compel installation of ELDs without a warrant is an unconstitutional seizure.