The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of the FMCSA to uphold the ELD Mandate. The Mandate was challenged by the OOIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association), but they failed to get it overturned. The decision was made on October 31, after both FMCSA and OOIDA made their oral arguments on September 13, in Chicago. The circuit judges overseeing the case were: William Bauer, David Hamilton, and Michael Kanne.

The OODIA attempted to have the ELD Mandate overthrown this March, by filing a lawsuit on behalf of its two member truckers. It’s important to recall that this is the same court that had previously tossed the ELD Mandate proposed by the FMCSA in 2010 on the argument that it didn’t protect truckers from harassment. The court, believes that the FMCSA has fixed the problems in their 2015 Mandate.

OOIDA still has an option to appeal to the Supreme Court.

You can find out more about the ELD Mandate here.

OOIDA’s objections

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association represents over 15,7000 members, and it presented the following arguments on behalf of its two members this March:

  • ELDs do not record information automatically as suggested by the Mandate. It requires human participation in the process.
  • Not enough driver protection from harassment. They argued that the term “driver harassment” was not explicitly defined.
  • The FMCSA analysis was flawed, and benefits of the ELD Mandate will not outweigh the cost.
  • No confidentiality of data collected by ELDs. Driver’s personal information will go unprotected.
  • The rule violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

Court’s decision regarding the ELD mandate

The court disagreed with all arguments made by the OOIDA and stated that the final ELD Mandate “is not arbitrary or capricious, nor does it violate the Fourth Amendment.”

The court also said that the ELD Mandate must pass a three-part reasonableness test, which it does. The test and the court reasoning are as follows:

  • The ELD Mandate must be informed by a substantial government interest. The court cited public safety as the interest.
  • Warrantless inspections are essential to further the ELD Rule — to eliminate widespread falsification of paper logs.
  • The inspection should be accompanied by a legal substitute for a warrant. The search will have a defined scope and inspecting officer’s discretion will be limited; the ELD Mandate does this already.

The full court ruling can be viewed here.

What it means for fleets and trucking companies

The December 18, 2017 deadline for unexempt truckers to transition to an ELD remains unchanged for most CMVs. This means that you still need to become ELD compliant before the deadline. The ELD rule’s exemptions are still in place for Pre-2000 vehicles, towaway drivers, drivers who do not have to maintain RODS, and drivers who maintain RODS for less than 8 days in a 30-day cycle.

For more details on the exemption read ‘Is your fleet exempt from the ELD rule?’.

What’s next for you?

As the ELD Mandate has been upheld, it means that you still need to transition to ELDs from paper logs. Motive can help you get started. We are offering FMCSA-registered, feature-rich, and affordable ELDs to fleets of all sizes.

Request a demo today.