OOIDA's Jim Johnston: 'I wouldn't go out and buy an ELD right now'

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

A legal brief filed by OOIDA in March is asking for the fed's electronic logging device rule to be thrown out. The final rule - unveiled back in December - mandates that all trucks must start using electronic logging devices by December 2017. So is this a done deal? With OOIDA's legal challenge on the table, the answer has to be no.

In its filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, OOIDA challenged the mandate on the grounds that the FMCSA failed to provide any proof that requiring ELDs would improve safety. According to the brief, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's mandate on electronic logging devices won't improve safety and is a violation of driver's rights.

OOIDA's president and CEO Jim Johnston says that the FMCSA has failed with this mandate on a number of levels, including not addressing the issues of driver harassment and of driver privacy. And dealing with that was ordered by the court when OOIDA first made a legal challenge of an ELD mandate.

Johnston says the rule is flawed from start to finish and OOIDA is asking the court to get rid of it altogether.

Before the court even hears the case, there's the expected responses and exchange of filings. In spite of that, Johnston feels confident about OOIDA's chances of getting the mandate thrown out.

If you want to use an ELD, fine. It should be your choice. But as far as the looming mandate forcing you to go ELD shopping immediately, you should understand that the OOIDA case is very strong.

"I would not go out and buy an ELD right now," Johnston says. LL