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New HoS approved in Canada

OTTAWA, Ont. - According to Transport Canada, changes to the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours-of-Service regulations that will reduce the maximum daily driving time for commercial drivers and increase...


OTTAWA, Ont. – According to Transport Canada, changes to the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours-of-Service regulations that will reduce the maximum daily driving time for commercial drivers and increase their minimum off-duty time have now been formally approved. The regulations were slated for publication in the Canada Gazette Part II on Nov. 16.

“The Government of Canada is committed to continually enhancing the safety of commercial drivers and all other users of Canadian road and highway systems,” Transport Minister, Jean-C. Lapierre said. “These new regulations will significantly enhance the current regime for truck and bus drivers in Canada, resulting in improved workplace safety and quality of life.”

The new rules will reduce the maximum driving time for commercial drivers by 19 per cent, from 16 to 13 hours, in a 24-hour period. They will also increase minimum off-duty time by 25 per cent, from eight to 10 hours.

The new rules will also reduce daily on-duty time by 12 per cent, from 16 to 14 hours.

Transport Canada said these new regulations incorporate current scientific research on driver fatigue and reflect an agreement reached between Teamsters Canada and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) in 2001.

They are the result of public consultations and extensive cooperation between governments and stakeholders, in concert with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

David Bradley, president and CEO of the CTA, has said he welcomes the announcement from Transport Canada concerning the HOS regulations.

“It has 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.”

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 Jan. 1, 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.”

As of Nov. 16 the new regulations can be viewed on the Canada Gazette Web site at http://canadagazette.gc.ca/partII/index-e.html.


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