Appellate court vacates electronic onboard recorders rule

Chicago – A federal appellate court has overturned a 2010 final rule requiring repeat violators of hours-of-service rules to use electronic onboard recorders.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Aug. 26 that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rule ignored a statute requiring that EOBR regulations ensure the devices cannot be used to harass drivers. The court remanded the rule back to FMCSA.

Opponents of EOBRs called the decision a “triumph.”

“Such a mandate would be a step backward in the effort toward highway safety and is an overly burdensome regulation that simply runs up costs for the majority of trucking, which is small business,” Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said in a press release.

Grain Valley, MO-based OOIDA had challenged the regulation in court by arguing the harassment aspect, that a cost-benefit analysis did not show the technology’s benefits, and that EOBRs violate the Fourth Amendment.

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