ETOBICOKE, Ont. – The Federal government has mandated the use of electronic logging devices by federally regulated commercial truck and bus operators.
This new requirement will come into force on June 12, 2021, and will replace paper-based daily logbooks. This requirement builds on the regulatory proposal that was published in Canada Gazette, Part I on December 16, 2017.
“Transport Minister Marc Garneau has shown great leadership in delivering an electronic logging device (ELD) rule” said the Canadian Trucking Alliance in a statement, adding the new rules “will catapult Canada ahead of the U.S. in terms of highway safety and compliance.”
CTA said the announcement finalizing the rule delivers on the Council of Transportation Ministers’ and First Ministers’ commitment to the industry that a mandatory, made-in-Canada ELD regulation would be introduced nationally as soon as possible.
The announcement also speeds the implementation timeframe for ELDs from the four years as originally proposed in Gazette I down to two years and, said CTA, and “demonstrates the effectiveness of the Canadian rulemaking process to ensure the regulatory foundations of the trucking industry are based on safety, competitiveness and counterbalance some of the operational demands placed on it by the supply chain.”
“The vast majority of our companies and drivers in our industry fully comply with hours of service rules, but, undoubtedly, the implementation of tamperproof, third-party ELD devices will further enhance safety and help ensure all drivers and companies hold themselves to the highest levels of compliance,” said CTA chair Scott Smith.
According to Transport Canada, fatigue in both truck and passenger car drivers is a factor in about 20 percent of all collisions. There are about 9,400 HOS-related convictions per year in Canada and the introduction of certified ELDs will be a driving force in reducing these cases.
Electronic logging devices are tamper-resistant devices that are integrated into commercial vehicle engines. They are intended to ensure that commercial drivers drive within their daily limit and accurately log their working hours.
“A reliable and well-supervised third-party certification process will lead to better compliance and global practices across the industry,” said Jacques DeLarochelliere, president, ISAAC Instruments, which provides ELD solutions.
“Unlike the self-certification authorized by the FMCSA, which has revealed some weaknesses, third-party certification will ensure a universal standard for ELD providers and allow regulation to achieve its objective: to make the roads safer. The responsibility for device compliance will lie with those who should be accountable – the suppliers and not the carriers.”
Use of the devices is also meant to reduce administrative burdens, such as eliminating the need for paper daily logs and reducing the time enforcement officers need to verify regulatory compliance. Additionally, these new devices are aligned with the United States road safety regulations and will support economic growth, trade, and transportation on both sides of the border.
Transport Canada conducted extensive consultations with industry to ensure the implementation of the devices are feasible. As a result of these consultations, a third-party certification process will be put in place to ensure that the electronic logging devices will be accurate and reliable.