Court rejects trucking group challenge to electronic log rule

POLITICO
By Lauren Gardner

A federal appeals court has denied a trucking group’s challenge to a revamped DOT rule mandating electronic logging devices on tractor-trailers.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sued DOT in December 2015, arguing that FMCSA didn’t adequately comply with a requirement for the devices to automatically record any changes in a driver’s duty status, even when not behind the wheel.

The group’s “reading of the statute seeks to pit one statutory requirement against another rather than allow the agency to balance competing policy goals endorsed by Congress,” a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit wrote in the opinion.

OOIDA also contended that the new rule, which was rewritten after the group successfully challenged an earlier version, didn’t do enough to address its previous concerns that the technology could be used to harass drivers.

The judges wrote that FMCSA sought comment from a range of sources when defining “harassment” in the rule and “ultimately provided a reasonable definition of the term.”

Congress mandated the rule requiring electronic logging devices in most big rigs in 2012.