MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is encouraged by federal Transport Minister David Collenette’s decision push ahead with proposed changes to the Hours-of-Service rules.
“The current Hours-of-Service proposals have come after seven years of scientific review and countless hours of discussions and open debate,” says David Bradley, chief executive officer of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
“Hopefully this parliamentary review will be the final punctuation mark on a long and detailed process.”
Bradley adds that the CTA believes this Hours-of-Service system has been the subject of as much scientific study and public discussion as that governing trucks and buses.
Bradley says that as a result, its template can now be applied to improve other modes of transport as well as other areas where shift-work is the norm.
The proposed changes will shorten the driver’s workdays and provide more opportunity for rest and recovery.
“The proposal focuses on alleviating fatigue by promoting more rest rather than just by counting hours worked,” says Bradley. “For instance, by increasing time off between shifts, it provides for naps better than the existing rules. This will be particularly helpful in minimizing fatigue for night drivers.”
In addition, under the proposal, a driver will not be able to work more than 70 hours in a week without taking at least a 36-hour rest and recovery period.
“The timing of this review is auspicious coming as it does on the heels of discussions between Canada’s railway companies and Transport Canada to change the Hours-of-Service rules in that industry,” explains Bradley.
“The CTA will be asking that the Committee’s mandate include a review of the rules now being proposed for railway engineers. We believe that many of the lessons learned from the trucking review process can be applied to improving railway hours of service.”
Railway engineers can now work up to 18 hours a day with no weekly or monthly maximums in federal regulations, according to Bradley.