Starting over a year ago, almost all commercial trucks in the U.S. have been required to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to track their time. It was recently discovered that New York State has not been enforcing the controversial rule.
When FMCSA adopts a new safety rule, it requires states to adopt the same rules. But the ELD rule was pushed through so quickly that many states had not yet adopted the rules by the time the deadline was past. New York was one of those states.
A lawsuit was brought by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), alleging that New York was improperly enforcing the law because in order for state police in New York to enforce the law, the ELD mandate would need to be adopted at the state level as well.
If the lawsuit had gone their way, OOIDA might have been able to prevent enforcement of the rules nationwide – or at least in those states who don’t have ELD rules on the books.
Instead, something very surprising happened. The case was thrown out by the New York Supreme Court on the grounds that New York could not have been improperly enforcing the law because they hadn’t been enforcing the law at all.
“Drivers are not being stopped, cited, or placed out of service pursuant to the ELD rule,” Judge Richard Platkin wrote.
Indeed, NYDOT says that no tickets citing ELD provisions have been issued. Both New York state police and the DMV are also confirming that the ELD requirements aren’t being enforced.
Agencies are saying that inspectors may use ELDs to verify HOS compliance, but that they aren’t able to take data from the device or cite a driver for not having an ELD.
This lack of enforcement is likely to change in the near future now that the cat’s out of the bag.
If you’ve been cited for an ELD violation (not an HOS violation) in New York, let us know in the comments!