In a unanimous decision, the United States Court of Appeals voted on October 31st, 2016 to uphold the ELD Mandate in the case that was filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).
What Was This Case All About?
Back in mid-September, OOIDA argued their case against the Department of Transportation to have the ELD Mandate overturned. In their case, OOIDA stated that the ruling should be vacated for five reasons:
- ELDs will not record enough information automatically because of the need for human involvement in the process
- The rule fails to protect drivers from harassment because the term “driver harassment” is not sufficiently defined
- The rule’s benefits will not outweigh its costs because the analysis performed by the FMCSA was flawed
- The rule fails to protect the confidentiality of personal data collected by ELDs
- The rule violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures
The final decision? The court disagreed with all five of the points brought up by the OOIDA stating that the Mandate “is not arbitrary or capricious, nor does it violate the Fourth Amendment.” This Mandate was in fact legislated by Congress.
OOIDA still has the ability to request an appeal from the Supreme Court.
What Does This Mean?
Unlike a similar case that overturned the required use of EOBRs back in 2011, the court’s decision to uphold the ELD Mandate means that it is here to stay, free of revisions or timeline extensions.
The ELD Mandate requires all non-exempt drivers not currently using an AOBRD-compliant device to have a device installed by December 18, 2017. Any AOBRDs installed before that date can continue to be used without upgrade or replacement until the Grandfather Clause ends on December 16, 2019.
This ruling is a critical decision for FMCSA and the ELD Mandate in a time when they’ve both been the topic of some very heated conversations. The case’s decision seems to have solidified the Mandate’s place in the industry, for now, at least.
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