CTA welcomes publication announcement of new HOS rules

by Canadian Shipper

OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) CEO David Bradley has announced he welcomes the announcement from Transport Canada that the new Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations are about to be published in Canada Gazette Part II.

The announcement signals that the rules have been finalized at the federal level and now need to be mirrored in provincial regulations to provide a uniform regime across the country. The new regulations are slated to kick in Jan. 1, 2007.

“It’s taken us 12 years to get to this stage,” Bradley said. “But we finally have a regulation that incorporates scientific principles and at the same time attempts to accommodate the needs of drivers and carriers.”

CTA and its provincial trucking association partners played a pivotal role in the development of the new rules, providing input on a multitude of operational, economic and safety issues to government throughout the process, said Bradley.

“At long last, we’ve gotten past the complex, often misunderstood concepts that were sometimes twisted out of proportion by a few groups whose primary concern was denigrating the trucking industry – not promoting safety,” he said.

“We said all along that we were being guided by an emphasis on safety, the science of fatigue, and alertness management principles. At the same time, the business needs of trucking companies and their drivers had to be taken into account. And, when we see the new regulations published in Canada Gazette Part II, we fully anticipate that they will reflect many of the proposals put forward by CTA. We’ll have to see the fine print, but we anticipate that the new regulations will include CTA recommendations like 13 hours daily driving, the 36-hour reset; 48-hour averaging of off-duty time; and cycles of 70 hours in 7 days and 120 in 14. In light of recent developments in the US, one of the most important provisions will be the ability for drivers to split off-duty time in a sleeper berth; this flexibility has been severely restricted in new regulations south of the border.”

Once the new rules are published, CTA and its provincial partners will be urging the provinces to move with haste to change their own regulations in time for the January 2007 launch date.

“It is important for the industry that this matter be put to bed,” Bradley said. “The uncertainty that has been overhanging carriers and drivers for so many years has made it difficult to make operational planning decisions. We’re almost at the point that we can move ahead. While not everyone will be happy with the new regulations, we think they strike the proper balance between restriction and flexibility.”

The new regulations are scheduled to be posted Nov. 16 on the Canada Gazette Web site at http://canadagazette.gc.ca/partII/index-e.html

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