OOIDA v. Minnesota State Police
A federal judge ruled that the Minnesota State Patrol’s inspections to determine fatigue violated truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights. The court held that the fatigue inspections are beyond the scope of CVSA’s (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) Level III inspections.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of truck drivers placed out of service after patrol officers consulted a checklist and arrived at the conclusion the drivers were “fatigued.” This is the first time where a court has ruled in favor of truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights in connection with commercial vehicle and driver inspection procedures.
Cross Border Trucking
OOIDA fought hard against the DOT's Mexican truck pilot program and was instrumental in convincing lawmakers to end funding for the project under the Bush administration. While the Obama administration has renewed efforts to allow Mexican trucks free access to U.S. highways, OOIDA continues its battle to keep the border closed to Mexican trucks.
Truth in Leasing
Leasing regulations have been changed to bring balance and fairness to owner-operators because OOIDA was diligent in bringing the problems of professional truckers to the attention of lawmakers in Congressional hearings. After the ICC was dissolved, OOIDA fought hard to preserve protections for owner-operators. Those efforts paid off when the ICC Termination Act included provisions to retain the truth-in-leasing regulations, allowing truckers to settle carrier disputes by filing a civil suit.
Tennessee Public Service Commission
In the early 1990s, OOIDA was able to stand up to political corruption on behalf of truckers and stop the widespread abuse of power carried out by one agency’s greedy, unscrupulous leader.
Members had been calling OOIDA with numerous reports about cab searches that were wrongfully classified as truck inspections throughout the state of Tennessee. OOIDA filed a lawsuit under the 4th Amendment’s illegal search and seizure clause. During the investigation, OOIDA uncovered astounding corruption taking place within the Tennessee Public Service Commission. It turned out that trucking companies contributing to the commissioner’s political campaign were allowed to run their businesses without an inspection or simply received clean inspection reports. Those who did not contribute, and especially out-of state truckers, were searched and cited for even the most minor infractions. After a lengthy investigation, the Tennessee PSC was abolished by 1995 and its leader’s political career was finished.
State Tax Refunds
In 1990, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) brought a lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania for axle taxes that discriminated against out-of-state truckers. This flat fee tax did not accurately reflect the amount of miles driven in the state. The ATA asked the state to refund the money to the motor carriers. OOIDA intervened on behalf of owner-operators who also paid the taxes. OOIDA was successful in returning a large portion of approximately $38.3 million to owner-operators.
In 1996, the largest state tax refund to date was in Alabama, which amounted to $68 million. Alabama was discriminating against out-of-state truckers by requiring them to pay a marker fee which wasn’t required from in-state truckers.
OOIDA has also secured refunds for similar taxes in various other states such as New Jersey, New Hampshire and Idaho.
Size and Weight Limits
OOIDA’s strong lobbying efforts paid off in 1982 when nationwide uniform truck size and weight limits were established by Congress through the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. Later, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) froze the weight of longer combination vehicles and limited them to routes that were allowed by the states.
In the mid-90s, OOIDA was able to convince lawmakers that individual states should decide speed limits—not the U.S. government. OOIDA’s lobbying efforts were instrumental in getting uniform speed limit legislation passed in both Ohio and Illinois in 2009.
Cross Border Trucking
OOIDA fought hard against the DOT's Mexican truck pilot program and was instrumental in convincing lawmakers to end funding for the project.
For over 43 years the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been fighting for the rights of all professional truckers.
We are proud of our history of effective representation, and as we grow, we will continue to fight for our members’ best interests in new and more powerful ways.
Please follow this link for a journey along a timeline of Association accomplishments, and you will see that OOIDA has made great strides during the past 45 years.
We believe the biggest accomplishments are those yet to come, so if you haven’t yet joined OOIDA, there’s no time like the present to unite with the more than 160,000 members working to give all professional truckers a voice!
Truckers for Troops Telethon
OOIDA's members have generously participated in this annual fundraiser to send care packages to troops overseas. It started in 2007 and as of 2017 has raised thousands of dollars and benefitted hundreds of military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For more information on the telethon click here.