Canadian Trucking Alliance clarifies position on driver hours

by Canadian Shipper

The Canadian Trucking Allicance (CTA) has denied charges the trucking lobby group is seeking an 18-hour workday for drivers.

CTA’s denial comes in the wake of an article published on the front page of today’s Globe and Mail newspaper.

The following is the text of the CTA rebuttal:

“In a letter to news editors, the CTA stated the following a front page article in today’s Globe and Mail that has since been picked up by other media outlets may be creating the impression that the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) wants to change the hours of service regulations for truck drivers to require them to drive for longer hours.

“Many in the media have been reporting that CTA is seeking 18 hours a day of driving time. This is absolutely not what CTA is seeking. The daily maximum amount of time a driver can spend behind the wheel will actually be going down under new rules being proposed for Canadian truck drivers from 16 hours under the current regulation to 13 hours. Moreover, the daily minimum rest time will be increased from 8 hours to 10 hours per day. These factors were the essence of an agreement between the Canadian Trucking Alliance and Teamsters Canada in 2002.

“‘In no way are we attempting to increase driving time,’ says David Bradley, CEO of the Alliance. ‘What we are trying to do is to avoid the situation where a driver would be penalized from a productivity and income perspective for taking MORE than the prescribed minimum off-duty time.’

“The question currently under review by federal and provincial regulators, with input from motor carriers, drivers and scientific experts, is the amount of time (16 hours versus 18 hours) that should be available for a driver to complete his shift. A decision is expected before the end of 2004.

“The current draft proposals would require a driver to complete all his driving time, other work, naps, meals, etc., within a 16-hour working window. (Under the current regulations, there is no limit on the amount of time that can be used to complete a driving shift it can be spread out for as long as the driver needs).

“CTA believes that with delays being experienced by drivers waiting at loading docks, distribution centres, customs facilities, etc., 16 hours is inadequate and may force some drivers to continue to drive when they might otherwise stop for rest and nutrition breaks.

“An 18-hour working window would provide a modest level of flexibility for those drivers to encourage sufficient breaks. Drivers would not be required to use the full 18-hour window it would be available only if needed to give the driver rest opportunities to use during delays.

“The Canadian Trucking Alliance hopes this clarifies its position and will be making no further public statements on this matter at the present time.
Rebecka Torn, Manager, Communications
Ontario Trucking Association”

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