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CTA calls for harmonized approach to under-ride protection

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Canadian trucking officials want both U.S. and Canada to adopt the new trailer under-ride guard sta...

OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadian trucking officials want both U.S. and Canada to adopt the new trailer under-ride guard standard recently announced by Transport Canada.

Transport Canada recently announced that motor vehicle safety regulations will be amended to require new manufacturing standards for trailer under-ride guards.

But CTA CEO David Bradley says the new regulations won’t do much good unless they’re also adopted south of the border.

“While Canada’s new requirements may provide drivers of small vehicles with the best level of protection anywhere in North America, any safety benefit from the new standards will be diluted unless it is adopted concurrently by Canada and the United States,” Bradley said.

The new requirements announced by Transport Canada will apply to newly manufactured trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 kilograms or more. Trailers with a low chassis or those whose wheels or structure prevent or limit under-ride will not be affected. Details of the amendments were slated to be published today in the Canada Gazette, Part II and should take effect a year from now.
CTA officials, who took part in the consultations leading up to the publication of the new rules in Canada Gazette Part 1, had hoped Transport Canada would have already reached an agreement with U.S. transportation officials to standardize under-ride guards prior to enforcing Canadian regulations.

In a written submission to Transport Canada in February 2003 CTA stated: “To ensure the highest standards of on-road safety, and to create a level playing field for Canadian carriers, CTA would therefore recommend that further discussions take place between Transport Canada and U.S. DOT with a view to developing a single standard – modeled on Transport Canada’s research – applicable in both countries …and would propose that its coming into force date be contingent upon the US moving to a similar, higher standard.”

“To my knowledge, the U.S. has made no firm commitment to move forward on under-ride protection in concert with Canada,” said Bradley. “We are concerned by the lack of a North American safety standard and have asked Transport Canada to advise us on the steps the department is taking to foster a harmonized North American approach to under-ride protection.”

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