The state of New York has not been issuing citations to carriers or drivers for not using an electronic logging device, the state’s supreme court confirmed in a decision issued on New Year’s Eve. Such citations for non-compliance with the ELD mandate, which took effect in December 2017, will not be issued until the state adopts the U.S. DOT’s ELD rule into its own regulations, the court said.
The ruling applies to interstate and intrastate carriers, said an official from the New York Department of Transportation.
However, inspectors may still request to see an electronic logging device to verify hours of service compliance, though they cannot download or transmit any data from the device. Also, FMCSA can still hold carriers and drivers accountable for lack of compliance with the ELD mandate during compliance reviews and safety audits, says Collin Mooney, director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
According to the court’s opinion, filed by Judge Richard M. Platkin of the state’s Albany-based Supreme Court, state enforcers have not been issuing citations to this point and thereby haven’t been enforcing the mandate.
The decision came as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. It claimed the state was enforcing the mandate despite not having adopted the federal ELD rule into state code.
The court disagreed with OOIDA’s assertion that the state was enforcing the mandate, instead confirming that it hadn’t — and wouldn’t, pending the state’s adoption of the ELD rule. The NYDOT official, who declined to use his name for publication, said he couldn’t comment as to when the state would codify the ELD mandate, but that industry stakeholders should “keep watching” for it.
FMCSA requires that states adopt federal safety rules for the purpose of uniformity and so state enforcement personnel can enforce the regs.
OOIDA’s challenge to New York’s ELD enforcement is part of a broader initiative by the group to push back on enforcement in states that haven’t formally adopted the ELD mandate. However, many states have countered OOIDA’s stance, arguing they have the authority to enforce the rule despite the lack of specific adoption.
The New York court dismissed OOIDA’s other arguments against enforcement of the mandate within the state, such as that it violates drivers’ rights to privacy protections provided by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Federal courts also rejected that argument in OOIDA’s lawsuit against the U.S. DOT, in which it sought to have the mandate overturned.