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Atlantic Summit: Canada ‘Has Taken the Lead’ on Safety Issues

Canadian Trucking Alliance President David Bradley and Prasad Sharma, senior v.p. and general counsel of the American Trucking Associations provided an updated industry outlook and legislative landscape last week at the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association’s Transportation Summit.

Speaking at the, Bradley commented on the federal government’s focused attention on the safe transportation of dangerous goods in the post Lac-Megantic period.

As reported by Truck News:

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“Trucking has been able to fly under the radar and focus has been where it should be with the railways,” he said. “But now it’s our turn. I don’t anticipate anything particularly negative to arise out of this. When you look at more dangerous goods are hauled by truck than any other modes, our rate of incident is extremely low. It’s also extremely low where we share our workplace with the public on the highway. A very small proportion of the dangerous goods incidents involve highway crashes. But where those do occur, and while they are not frequent that’s where the major leaks, incidents come from, therefore we have to be prepared for that.”

Bradley said he would like to see the Canadian government taking a more active role in enforcement of the shipper responsibilities under the regulations.

“The enforcement generally comes at roadside, and falls on you (carriers) and your drivers if there is documentation errors,” he said. “Really that should be where the shipper is responsible.”

In addition, he also suggested that an ELD mandate would be coming soon.

“We’re going to be repeating our call for ELD mandate,” he said.  “In Canada I think we are inching closer in an announcement in that regard. I am not privy to the details or whether and how that would come about. But I think we’re getting close and obviously we want to be compatible with the United States. But at the same token I think we need to make sure the enforcement policies and the like work in the Canadian environment.”

He also spoke briefly about mandating entry-level training across the country.

“Another thing we are calling for, will be for the provinces to work with CTA and the provincial associations to adopt a regime of mandatory entry-level training,” he said. “It’s Canada, these things take time and not necessarily everyone will be on board at the same time or to the same extent, but I think we’re moving things in that direction.”


Sharma meanwhile, provided a U.S. perspective, saying that the Canadian industry is at the forefront on many safety issues

“Canada has taken the lead and US is following,” he said. “I think that’s been true on speed limiters, on ELDs and we’re not following with great speed but we are following.”

He added: that American carriers may have been “admittedly a little slow to coming around to support ELDs. We as an industry do support ELDs and we made it clear to the administration and we made that clear to congress.”

He said a proposal in the U.S. for mandatory ELDs will likely be finalized in 2015. “There will be a two year phasing period for compliance. It’s not on the fastest track, but it is moving and we do anticipate something happening early to mid-next year.”

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