OTTAWA, Ont. -- Canadian motor carriers and professional drivers from across the country have been banding together to voice their support for the mandatory implementation of electronic-on-board recording devices (EOBRs) to monitor Hours-of-Service compliance rules.
Earlier this year, the Canadian Trucking Alliance launched a campaign that provided carriers and drivers and owner/operators the ability to send an email or text-message to federal MPs, urging them to show political leadership on the issue.
The campaign – which proffers how EOBRs represent a considerable improvement over the paper-based log system in terms of improving driver and carrier productivity, competiveness, regulatory compliance with Hours-of-Service standards as well as limiting drivers’ stress level and compliance workload – has triggered an impressive response from the trucking industry, with about 1,500 messages sent to date.
Carriers and drivers from every jurisdiction in Canada sent a message, according to the CTA.
“Our efforts show that there are many carriers and drivers who are clearly in favour of replacing outdated paper logbooks with more efficient and compliant electronic monitoring devices,” said David Bradley, president of the CTA. “While we understand that there is a minority in the industry who may oppose an EOBR mandate, it’s important that decision makers hear from those who have experience with EOBRs in enhancing compliance and making highways safer.
“Companies that are voluntarily using EOBRs overwhelmingly report that their drivers experience noticeable improvements in productivity and lifestyle.”
CTA officials say the message appears to be getting through to the politicians. In a response to one carrier, federal transport minister, Denis Lebel, stated that EOBRs can “improve hours-of-service regulatory compliance by reducing the opportunity for commercial drivers to exceed regulated driving hours or falsify logbooks” and that Transport Canada “supports the development of an EOBR standard that leverages the work that the United States has undertaken on this issue, that is implemented consistently across all jurisdictions, including our provinces and territories, and that is operationally feasible for both industry and government regulators. Ultimately, a harmonized North American standard would be ideal in consideration of the importance of domestic and cross-border trade.”
He says a “technically flexible, performance-based EOBR standard, combined with a suitable phase-in period, would hopefully allow sufficient time for suppliers to offer cost-effective options meeting the needs of carriers and drivers.”
The campaign is still active. To send a message to MPs about EOBRs, follow the instructions found here.