If you’ve been waiting for a final ruling on whether the ELD Mandate governing the requirement for electronic logging devices (ELDs) would be upheld by the U.S legal system or not, your wait is over. On October 31, the United States Court of Appeals ruled against the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and unanimously agreed that the ELD Mandate is here to stay.
Representing 157,000 members, OOIDA challenged the ELD Mandate on behalf of two of its members earlier this year. The organization presented several arguments against the mandate:
- The current mandate didn’t meet the requirements set by Congress.
- ELDs can’t record enough information automatically.
- Drivers will be subject to harassment.
- The costs to meet the mandate outweigh the benefits. Their justification was that the studies conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) were flawed.
- A driver’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure will be violated.
The U.S Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit disagreed on every point. If OOIDA decides to pursue their case to the next level, they can appeal to the Supreme Court.
What the Court Said
In their ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals said that the ELD Mandate must pass a three-part reasonableness test:
- The regulatory scheme (the ELD Mandate) must be informed by a substantial interest by the government. The Court cited public safety concerns has the substantial interest in question.
- Warrantless inspections must be a necessary part to further the regulatory scheme. The Court said the ELD records and administrative inspection are necessary, citing rampant falsification of paper logs.
- The inspection must provide a constitutionally acceptable substitute for a warrant. In order to meet the requirement, the owner of the commercial property being inspected will be advised that the search is made pursuant to the law. The search will also have a properly defined scope and the discretion of the inspecting officer will be limited. According to the Court, the ELD does this.
The Court further said that the “Mandate is not arbitrary or capricious.”
What This Means for You
This ruling means that the December 2017 deadline for ELD implementation is still in effect. Pre-2000 trucks continue to be exempt from the ELD Mandate. No one hoping for a different outcome from an appeal to the Supreme Court should put off complying with the ELD Mandate and needs to find an ELD solution that works with your company and your budget.
You’ll need to select and install ELD equipment by the December 2017 deadline in order to be in compliance with FMCSA regulations. Take a look at what Gorilla Safety can do not just as an ELD but also for your entire fleet management system.
We understand that complying with the ELD mandate can seem overwhelming. Our team is here to help. Give us a call and we will help you understand all of your obligations under this rule.