The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has told an appeals court that a federal mandate requiring electronic logging devices on commercial vehicles “does not advance safety, is arbitrary and capricious and violates Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
OOIDA’s claims were outlined in legal documents filed March 29 with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule that requires interstate truckers to install electronic logging devices in their vehicles.
The 516-page rule, unveiled Dec. 10, detailed new technical specifications for ELDs, clarified supporting-document requirements and included measures designed to ensure that ELDs are not used to harass drivers.
It requires carriers to comply by Dec. 17, 2017.
OOIDA filed documents seeking a review by the appeals court a day after the rule was made public.
“The agency provided no proof of their claims that this mandate would improve highway safety,” OOIDA President Jim Johnson said in a March 31 statement. “They didn’t even attempt to compare the safety records of trucking companies that use ELDs and those that do not. There is simply no proof that the costs, burdens and privacy infringements associated with this mandate are justified.”
However, FMCSA’s cost-benefit discussion contained in the ELD rule noted that the agency has studied the rule’s effects and estimated it will avoid 1,844 crashes and 562 injuries, and save 26 lives annually.
“Based on an analysis of carriers using ELDs, and using the peer-reviewed Roadside Intervention Model, FMCSA was able to estimate the reduction in crashes from mandatory ELD use,” the rule said. “This estimate used a sample period from January 2005 through September 2007, which contained 9.7 million interventions.”
FMCSA spokesman Duane DeBruyne declined to comment on the court proceedings.