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ATA Files Brief in Support of FMCSA on EOBR Challenge

American Trucking Associations filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief on Feb. 24 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration‘s defense of electronic logging devices.

FMCSA’s rules governing the voluntary use of electronic logging devices to record hours-of-service data are being challenged the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association. OOIDA was successful in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the agency’s proposal to mandate electronic logging for carriers with egregious hours-of-service violations.

Following that decision, OOIDA argued that “[t]here is no longer any provision in the rules for the adoption of a device called an ‘EOBR,'” even on a voluntary basis.

That’s because the court’s ruling left in place a 1988 rule that had permitted the use of on-board recording devices in lieu of paper record-keeping requirements — but it used the term “automatic on-board recording device” or “AOBRD,” not “EOBR.”

ATA says OOIDA is focusing “exclusively on the labels used by the 2010 and 1988 rules for the devices they authorize, conspicuously avoiding any discussion of the substance of those rules.” In fact, ATA says, “the 1988 rule expressly recognized that the automatic on-board recording devices it authorized might well be electronic in nature.”

ATA supports the use of electronic logging devices, which have demonstrated the ability to improve carriers’ compliance with FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations.

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves says the association urges the court to “reject the calls to prevent fleets from using these powerful compliance tools.”

“Thousands of responsible, safety-minded truck fleets throughout this country voluntarily use this technology to ensure their drivers are complying with federal hours-of-service requirements,” Graves says. “The court should dismiss this challenge and reaffirm the longstanding authorization to voluntarily use electronic logging devices while FMCSA works toward addressing questions about a future, wider mandate for their use.”

You can read ATA’s brief here.

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