Canada eyeing U.S.-style ELD mandate in next two years

OTTAWA – Now that the electronic logging device mandate has begun in the United States, a similar rule is expected in Canada before long.

The Canadian government has published its own first draft of rules that would require the devices for truck and bus drivers.

Once finalized, the mandate will be rolled out within two years, according to a notice in the Canada Gazette, an archive of proposed and official regulations similar to the Federal Register in the U.S.

“This will make (truck and bus) drivers less prone to fatigue,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau said. “It will make our roads safer.”

According to the notice in the Gazette, there is an international consensus that fatigue is associated with 15 to 20 percent of crashes in transportation. The provincial and territorial governments of Canada recorded an average of 9,400 convictions per year for hours-of-service violations between 2010 and 2015.

While the mandate would only apply to federally regulated commercial vehicles, Garneau stressed that local governments should enact their own ELD mandates. The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which has long been supportive of an ELD mandate, applauded Garneau’s announcement and pledged to consult with provinces on how to roll out these devices as soon as possible.

“Regardless of how long it takes to publish a final rule in Canada Gazette II, CTA would like to see all provinces introducing mandatory enforcement of ELDs as soon as possible,” CTA President Stephen Laskowski said in a press release.

CTA recommended that the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Road Safety support an intraprovincial ELD mandate and expand educational awareness for the rule.

The ELD mandate in the U.S. went into effect on December 18, but there are still trucking groups that are trying to delay or derail the requirement.

“The U.S.’s experience in implementing ELDs has shown us that even with two years to prepare, there will be some in our sector that never choose to comply in time,” CTA Chairman Gene Orlick said. “While we need to be respectful of the transition-time requirements of ELD implementation to businesses and governments, we also must not manage to the lowest common denominator and ensure everybody is fairly complying with the rules.”

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