The Government of Canada has taken another important step towards the introduction of a mandate to require the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by federally-regulated motor carriers and commercial vehicle drivers. The mandate would apply to those federally-regulated bus and truck carriers and drivers who are currently required to carry a log book and demonstrate compliance with the federal Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.
Transport Canada officially announced yesterday it is proposing to amend the HOS regulations to mandate ELDs. It is launching a consultation process as a precursor to the more formal process which will occur after publishing a proposed rule in the Canada Gazette Pt. I – a requirement by the Treasury Board and which the department says should occur in early 2017. A 60-day comment period would follow and the final rule, including a compliance date which the department says would be one or two years later, could be published as early as the Spring of 2017. The department says, to the extent possible, it is desirable to align the compliance dates with those established by the US Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) which proposes a December 2017 compliance date for ELDs meeting the new US technical specifications and December 2019 for existing automatic onboard recording devices.
This announcement follows on the heels of the July 12 release by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) of a draft ELD technical standard which is now subject to a two-month consultation period.
The release of Transport Canada’s benefit-cost analysis (CBA), which is expected to show a strong net benefit for an ELD mandate, is also likely to occur soon. According to the department, an earlier CBA completed in July 2015 demonstrated a roughly two-to-one benefit-to-cost ratio. The latest iteration of the CBA will include additional scenarios not looked at in the initial analysis.
All of this is welcome news to the Canadian Trucking Alliance which has been championing an ELD mandate for over a decade.
“The momentum is clearly building towards a mandate,” says the president and CEO of the Alliance, David Bradley. “CTA will actively participate in the consultations.”
Earlier this year, CTA received assurances from federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau that he supported the Alliance’s call for an ELD mandate.
“Now we’re seeing his leadership put into action,” said Bradley, who called upon all the provincial governments “to get onboard and start preparing for the introduction of a mirror mandate at the intraprovincial level.”