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  • Henry Seaton

Court denies rehearing on ELDs

A federal appeals court has rejected a request that it rehear a challenge to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rule mandating electronic logging devices (ELDs) for drivers required to maintain records of duty status (RODS). On October 31, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled in FMCSA's favor in a lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. OOIDA then asked the entire circuit court hear the challenge – a common step parties take before appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It’s clear now that we have to pull out all the stops to convince lawmakers and the new Trump administration of the need to set aside the ELD mandate,” said Jim Johnston, OOIDA president and CEO. Johnston said OOIDA will appeal to the Supreme Court but also will continue to push Congress for action to block the rules. The latest step is contacting its members who are constituents of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of lawmakers that recently asked the incoming Trump administration to overturn or drop 232 final and proposed regulations, including the ELD rule and the proposed rule on speed limiters. Today, OOIDA reached out to its members who are constituents of the House Freedom Caucus, an organization that recently offered the incoming administration a list of regulations that should be repealed. On that list is the ELD mandate along with the proposed speed limiter rule.

Five years ago, OOIDA successfully challenged in the same court an earlier FMCSA rule regarding electronic logs, but a year later Congress ordered FMCSA to issue a rule mandating ELDs. In its latest challenge, OOIDA argued that the ELD rule should be invalidated for five reasons. The appeals court sided with FMCSA on each point.

Unless the Supreme Court or Congress act to overturn or delay the rule or FMCSA itself reverses or postpones it, drivers maintaining paper logs will have to use either ELDs or automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) – the current standard for electronic logs – by December 18, 2017.

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