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Industry Issues: CTA Drops 18-Hour Window Fight

The following is the first of a two-part statement by CTA CEO David Bradley explaining the CTA's decision to withdraw its support of the controversial 18-hour working window proposal for Canadian hours of service regulations.


The following is the first of a two-part statement by CTA CEO David Bradley explaining the CTA’s decision to withdraw its support of the controversial 18-hour working window proposal for Canadian hours of service regulations.

“The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is no longer pursuing a controversial and widely misunderstood proposal currently under review by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) designed to allow truck drivers some additional time to cope with delays beyond their control. The proposal, if adopted, would have avoided a situation where drivers would be penalized for taking more than the prescribed daily rest time. Instead, CTA calls for the immediate adoption of the draft regulations for a new federal regulation and national standard governing truck driver hours of service as already endorsed by the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation & Highway Safety.

“In addition, CTA calls for the mandatory use of electronic on-board recording technology to enhance safety through improved compliance with the new rules. Under draft regulations which have already been endorsed by the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety, truck drivers face new restrictions on driving time on both a daily and weekly basis as well as a requirement for a minimum of 25 per cent more rest time per day. CTA has no quarrel with these changes and is not, as has been incorrectly reported by some in the media, seeking longer driving times. CTA has always worked towards hours of service regulations that are consistent with the science of alertness and fatigue management. What CTA has up until today been proposing is a change to the length of time that a driver has available during the day to complete all his required driving time without forfeiting rest time for meals, hygiene breaks and naps when he feels the need.

“Under existing regulations there is no fixed time limit on when a truck driver must complete his shift. The hours of service regulations as currently drafted would require a driver to complete all of his driving, other duties, rest and meal breaks within 16 hours of coming on duty. In the majority of cases, this is likely to be adequate. However, for certain drivers, particularly long haul drivers and drivers with multi-stop deliveries, in order to complete their shift they cannot experience any delays and unfortunately this is not reflective of the real world. As the rules are presently drafted, a driver who is delayed while his truck is being unloaded, for example, would be required to subtract that time from his allowable total of 16 hours. CTA is concerned that this loss of productivity will cause some drivers to feel pressured to drive when they might otherwise rest in order to make up the time lost during delays.

“CTA was pleased when the CCMTA embarked on a review of a proposal from Transport Canada to amend the draft hours of service regulations to extend – at the driver’s option – the daily “working window” from the proposed 16 hours to 18 hours. Although there have been many inaccurate media reports recently that CTA has been calling for more on-duty time for drivers, what we have in fact been seeking could be most accurately described as ’12 hours off and 14 on.’ In contrast, the current government proposal provides for 10 hours off and 14 on-duty.

“CTA’s interest in initiating the proposal in the first place was to try and reasonably respond to concerns raised by many truck drivers, over whether they would have enough flexibility in the proposed new hours of service regulations to cope with delays experienced, predominantly at shipper or consignee loading docks and still get their driving hours in. However, the CTA proposal for increased off-duty time has somewhat surprisingly not won the broad support of several key driver organizations.”

– David Bradley is president of the Ontario Trucking Association and chief executive officer of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.


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