A final rule published by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) last December requires Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to be mandatory within the next two years and used by all commercial bus and truck drivers and companies.
Only pre-2000 year model vehicles still in operation would be exempted.
A challenge to the mandate from industry stakeholders was brought before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the rule is unconstitutional, that it violates drivers’ fourth amendment rights to privacy and that the rule does not meet standards set by Congress for an ELD mandate.
The Court disagreed and its decision to keep the mandate in place was issued on October 31st. As of late last year, FMCSA estimated that about 3.4 million drivers would be affected by the ELD mandate.
Many larger fleets have already installed ELDs, but smaller operators and independent drivers have held back, concerned about compliance costs and uncertainty about the Court’s decision.
According to industry estimates, about 20% to 40% of commercial vehicles already have ELDs. Stakeholders are considering additional paths to fight the ELD ruling, but it seems like an uphill battle.
The only recourse to a failed Circuit Court ruling is the U.S. Supreme Court. The current implementation deadline for compliance with the ELD mandate is December 16, 2017.
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