TORONTO, Ont.–Today’s announcement of the final US rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD), puts Canada “under the gun” and removes any remaining argument for the Canadian governments not to move forward with a similar mandate in Canada, says this country’s largest trucking association.
For over a decade, the Canadian Trucking Alliance – the federation of the provincial trucking associations representing over 4,500 trucking companies – has been lobbying the Canadian governments to introduce a mandate that would require all trucks where the driver is currently required to produce a paper log book in order to monitor compliance with the hours of service regulations to be equipped with an ELD.
“This is a matter of principle for us,” says the CTA’s CEO, David Bradley. “Safety and fair competition is compromised by the continued reliance on an archaic and inefficient paper-based system for monitoring and enforcing what is arguably the single most important of the National Safety Code standards.”
Earlier this year, the previous federal government announced its commitment to moving forward with a Canadian mandate. There has been no indication the new Trudeau government will change course on that direction. To date, the only province to state its commitment to introducing an ELD mandate at the provincial level so far is Ontario. The other provinces have for the most part remained on the sidelines or indicated a preference for a voluntary approach.
Beyond development of a draft technical standard by the Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Committee of the Canadian Council of Motor Carrier Administrators and a benefit-cost analysis by Transport Canada – which is expected to make a strong case in favour of a mandate but which has yet to be made public – other work, such as the development of an enforcement policy and the writing of an actual regulation, has for the most part been waylaid while the governments waited to see what the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s long-awaited final rule would look like.
The answer to that came today with the release of the FMCSA’s final rule, which will be officially published tomorrow. The rule, which will come into force by the end of 2017, signals the end of paper log books for about 3 million US commercial drivers – and Canadian drivers operating into and out of the US.
“With the publication of the US rule the Canadian governments can no longer claim they need to see what the Americans do before getting down to business here. Now we are under the gun and in the situation where we have about 24 months to introduce our own mandate.”
“It’s time for all Canadian governments to declare their support for a Canadian ELD mandate at both the federal and provincial level and to work together, along with industry, to make it happen,” Bradley said.
Julia Kuzeljevich is Editor of Canadian Shipper. She has been writing about transportation and logistics issues since 1999. All posts by Julia Kuzeljevich