The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) says officials from Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s office have confirmed media reports suggesting the new government is moving forward to replace current requirements for truck drivers to complete paper log books with a mandate that trucks be equipped with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) as the standard mechanism for monitoring, auditing and enforcing compliance with national hours of service regulations.
In addition, it was confirmed that a new manufacturing standard will be introduced to require that all new heavy trucks sold in Canada be equipped with an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.
CTA, which is a federation of the provincial trucking associations, representing over 4,500 trucking companies nationally, welcomes confirmation of both initiatives.
“We have been advocating for both of these key safety measures for over a decade now,” says CTA president, David Bradley. “We know that Transport Canada has been working on both issues but with a new government in charge we needed to confirm the commitment is moving forward at the political level. I am satisfied that commitment is in place.”
ELDs are devices used to track, collect and record data on a truck driver’s hours of service. The federal hours of service regulation, which is designed to combat driver fatigue, is arguably the most important element of the National Safety Code for Trucks. ESC systems help protect against truck rollovers and other loss of control incidents by automatically engaging the engine retarder and applying a truck’s brakes even before the driver is aware of the need for increased stability.
According to CTA, the benefits in terms of safety and administration of both measures, outweigh the costs for both the trucking industry and for government.
While Transport Canada cannot give a firm date for introduction of the regulations at this time, it is expected to align implementation as closely as possible to the timetable for similar measures in the U.S.– late 2017 or early 2018.
Now that it has the commitment of the federal government, the industry is calling upon the provinces to implement an identical ELD mandate for those trucking operations that come under provincial jurisdiction, says Bradley. Under the Canadian constitution the federal government has jurisdiction over extra-provincial trucking operations (i.e., those that cross provincial and/or international borders) while the provincial governments are responsible for intra-provincial trucking operations (those that operate solely within a province).