Legal Fight Against EOBRs Proceeds

PEOPLENET EOBRThe Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Group is waging a legal battle against upcoming electronic onboard recorder requirements to track driver logs.

By TruckingInfo Staff

With a proposal to expand the requirement for electronic onboard recorders pending in the regulatory pipeline, owner-operators are fighting a legal action against the limited recorder requirement that is scheduled to take effect next year.

Last week the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association rebutted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s claim that OOIDA does not have standing to challenge next year’s recorder requirement.

The exchange was part of the ongoing legal fight OOIDA is waging against the rule.

Last fall in a suit filed in the Chicago-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the association challenged the rule on grounds that there is no proof that recorders can accurately track hours of service, and that use of recorders violates drivers’ rights to privacy. The OOIDA filing last week came in response to the agency’s rebuttal. The court’s decision is still pending.

The recorder rule, which the agency announced last April and which goes into effect June 1, 2012, says that carriers that violate hours of service rules 10 percent of the time, based on single compliance review, must use electronic onboard recorders to track driver hours. The agency estimates that this requirement will affect about 5,700 interstate carriers.

The rule also clarifies technical requirements and sets new performance standards for recorders, steps that set the stage for a more ambitious recorder proposal now pending at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Details have not been published, but this proposal will extend the recorder requirement in the current 2012 rule. It also will ease the supporting documents requirements for carriers that use recorders, and it will shorten the list of documents that all carriers must keep.

Meanwhile, there is a move by a group of trucking companies and other interests to pass legislation that would require recorders in all trucks.

The carriers in the group, called the Alliance for Driver Safety Security, include Maverick USA, Knight Transportation, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Schneider National, U.S. Xpress Enterprises, and Dupre Logistics.

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