Trucking attorney: Court appears likely to side with FMCSA in ELD court challenge

| September 14, 2016

The electronic logging device mandate likely to take effect in late 2017 will ding the country's capacity by about three to five percent, says analyst John Larkin.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule requiring nearly all truckers to use electronic logging devices starting in December 2017 will likely survive the lawsuit attempting to overturn the rule, said a trucking-focused attorney Wednesday.

Tim Wiseman, a partner at the transportation law firm Scopelitis, spoke at the 2016 FTR Conference in Indianapolis Sept. 14. “The [three-judge] panel was very suspect of the arguments that OOIDA was making and seemed to be much more in favor of the attorneys of the agency,” Wiseman said of the oral arguments made in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 13. (Overdrive has posted the audio of the 42-minute-long session. Click here to listen.)

“FMCSA did a pretty decent job addressing the concerns the court laid out the last go around with driver privacy and harassment,” he said. “There are no guarantees, but if I was a betting man, I would say it’s going to be upheld.”

How the potential gold mine of ELD data could hurt you

How the potential gold mine of ELD data could hurt you

The precision and quantity of ELD data available after the mandate could, combined with a new safety-rating scheme, give on-site auditors an extra-effective tool for ...

What's your take on the eventual outcome of the suit after hearing the oral arguments (find audio below)? If you're reading on a smartphone, tap the image to call and leave us a message to weigh in. We'll round up responses in a special mailbag podcast. Alternately, drop a comment below. If you're on a desktop, call 530-408-6423. Make sure to tell us your name and state of residence.

What’s your take on the eventual outcome of the suit after hearing the oral arguments (find audio below)? If you’re reading on a smartphone, tap the image to call and leave us a message to weigh in. We’ll round up responses in a special mailbag podcast. Alternately, drop a comment below. If you’re on a desktop, call 530-408-6423. Make sure to tell us your name and state of residence.

Wiseman said he’s unsure as to when a decision will be made in the case. “January, maybe at the earliest,” he said. OOIDA has said it hopes to see a decision on the ELD mandate before the end of the year. 

OOIDA filed a lawsuit against FMCSA and its rule in March, claiming the rule violates truckers’ Constitutional rights to privacy, because they track truckers in real time. OOIDA also argues the rule fails to meet statutory requirements set by Congress and still does not fully protect truckers against harassment from carriers.

FMCSA, however, argues otherwise, claiming the rule shores up the harassment concerns that caused its prior ELD mandate to be struck down. The rule will also increase hours of service compliance and boost highway safety, FMCSA claims.

To read more on the lawsuit and the arguments laid out by both sides, click here.

To hear the oral arguments, click the player below:

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