New rules have been implemented in the United States which make it a requirement that truck drivers switch from paper logs to electronic ones. The new regulation is coming out in stages, but already there are some lawyers challenging the regulations in court. It is entirely possible that the Supreme Court will take up the case and make a final ruling on it.
At issue at what are known as electronic logging devices (ELDs). These are meant to cut down on the number of accidents that occur on the road each year. It is dangerous to have drivers on the road for too many hours. Paper logs are helpful for tracking that information, but they are not perfect. Electronic logs are better at keeping all of this information automatically, and that really makes a difference.
All of this sounds really great for the public safety and even for the drivers themselves. One might wonder what it is that they would have to challenge at all. The answer lies in the Fourth Amendment. That is the amendment that relates to unreasonable search and seizure.
Arguments from lawyers on the case say that the regulation is a bit of a slippery slope towards monitoring other activities that the truckers do. While it is just remote monitoring of hours and time logs today, they worry that on board cameras and other devices may soon become part of the normal means of doing business.
At this stage in proceedings the lawyers for the trucker’s association have not really won any legal battles. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them forcing them to appeal the case to the Supreme Court if they want any chance of winning. That is a long shot because the top court in the land does not usually take all that many cases under consideration.
Just four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court have to agree to take a case in order for it to get heard. That being said, the Supreme Court only hears about 75 to 85 cases per year. They are very picky about what they choose to listen to arguments in, and they only want something that they believe will have a real national impact.
A Louisville truck accident lawyer may be a person who would be interested in following the outcome of this case. If the Supreme Court decides that paper logs are acceptable for drivers to continue to keep using, then that would have a significant impact on their business. At the same time, if the court rules the other way then the lawyers have to consider this as well.
Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. When they happen and involve a truck driver the implications can be extreme. Companies pay a lot of money to try to keep their drivers safe, but it still does not always work out the way that they might hope. Given this, there is still plenty of need for these types of lawyers out there, and cases like this impact their business.