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Truckers fight against required electronic logs, and loose.

Regulations are in place that are designed to reduce the risk of accidents. This is particularly true when it comes to the commercial trucking industry. These regulations are often criticized, and it is not uncommon for a particular regulation to face a courtroom battle.

This is the case with a current regulation involving the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs).

What are ELDs?

Electronic logging devices are used to help monitor when a trucker is on duty. These devices are designed to better ensure truckers are following regulations regarding working hours and reduce the risk of an accident resulting from a driver putting in too many hours.

What's the issue with using an ELD?

Truckers took issue with a law requiring the use of these ELDs. The challenge was most recently heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is a federal court that is one of the highest in the nation.

A recent article in Overdrive Online, a publication for the trucking industry, discussed the case. The article noted that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed the lawsuit in an attempt to overturn the required use of ELDs. The OOIDA had two primary arguments:

  • Constitutional violation. The first argument involved a contention that having these devices installed within the truck was a violation of the driver's Fourth Amendment protections. This argument centered on whether or not the use of ELDs amounted to an illegal, unreasonable search. Ultimately, the court essentially stated that even if this was the case the "search" would fall into an exception since it involves the highly regulated trucking industry.
  • Arbitrary and capricious. The OOIDA argued that there was no proof that the devices would improve safety. As a result, requiring ELDs did not seem logical. Ultimately, the court disagreed and stated the rule was not arbitrary.

The 7th Circuit held in favor of the ELD mandate. As such, the mandate is scheduled to go into effect in December of 2017.

What does this mean for victims of trucking accidents?

This court battle shows just one of the many regulations that are designed to reduce the risk of trucking accidents. Trucking companies or drivers that fail to follow these regulations can be held accountable if this failure results in an accident. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to discuss your case and better ensure your legal rights and remedies are protected. 

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