2/28/2012 4:00:00 PM
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American Trucking Associations has defended the federal governmentâ€™s moves to encourage the use of electronic onboard recorders among trucking fleets in a brief filed in federal court.
The amicus brief supporting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in opposition to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which has asked the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to order the federal government to stop encouraging EOBR use.
ATAâ€™s brief, filed on Friday and announced on Tuesday, centers on a 1988 regulation that allows carriers to use â€œautomated onboard recording devicesâ€� to log driver hours.
Though the Seventh Circuit court last year overturned a requirement that some carriers use EOBRs, voluntary use of the devices is still allowed under the 1988 regulation, ATA wrote.
OOIDAâ€™s argument â€œboils down to the peculiar notion that even if a device meets all of the criteria specified in the 1988 rule, it somehow becomes unauthorized if someone uses the magic word â€˜EOBR,â€™ â€� ATA wrote.
â€œThat contention defies logic, defies the text of the 1988 rule, and defies the history of the industryâ€™s use of on-board recording devices under the terms of the 1988 rule,â€� ATA said, asking the court to reject OOIDAâ€™s argument and reject its request for an order against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
In August, the court agreed with OOIDA that FMCSA failed to consider the possibility of driver harassment in its EOBR mandate. FMCSAâ€™s regulation also allowed the agency to encourage the use of EOBRs voluntarily, so OOIDA argued in its January motion that â€œFMCSAâ€™s conduct directly conflicts with this Courtâ€™s ruling.â€�
ATA e group asked the court to issue an order directing FMCSA to â€œcease and desist from authorizing, sanctioning or in any way encouraging the use of electronic monitoring devices to increase compliance with hours-of-service regulations until it has promulgated regulations that ensure that such devices will not be used to harass drivers.â€�
Â© 2012, Transport Topics Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
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