CTA drops 18-hour window, pushes for black boxes

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OTTAWA, Ont. — The CTA is dropping its pursuit of the 18 hour work window and pushing for the mandatory use of on board recorders to enforce HOS.

“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,” said a statement released by the CTA.

CTA’s CEO David Bradley went on to state that CTA has no quarrel with proposed new restrictions on daily/weekly driving times and a 24 per cent increase in daily rest time as compared to the existing rules. He said CTA "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."

Bradley said the controversial 18 hour working window proposal was designed to address truck driver concerns over time available to cope with delays beyond their control but has failed to garner sufficient support in the industry.

CTA’s call for the mandatory use for all trucks governed by the National Safety Code and where a commercial drivers licence is required — of electronic on-board monitoring technologies may come as a surprise to some, but Bradley said it is "imperative from a safety point of view, which of course is paramount, but also in terms of providing responsible carriers with a level playing field with competitors who might otherwise choose to bend or break the rules to increase driving time.
“The days of the paper log book should be numbered, Bradley added. “CTA is urging the federal and provincial governments to commence negotiations with CTA to enter into a joint government-industry memorandum of understanding on how best to make this a reality.”

Bradley said by agreeing to the new hours of service regulations, the industry will be giving up some of its flexibility and its productivity for certain shipments, especially long hauls and multi-stop deliveries. So, he is also calling on the industry’s customers, the shippers and consignees, to work with the trucking companies and their drivers to make the supply chain more efficient by reducing the time drivers are forced to wait to be loaded or unloaded.

"Carriers and drivers will be even less tolerant of delays," he said. “And, they deserve to be paid for delays and the extra services we provide. They deserve to be treated with respect and understanding by shippers and consignees."

According to Bradley, the trucking industry is at a watershed. He said CTA does "not seek to turn the clock back to the days before deregulation. But, we also must move on. The industry can no longer sustain increases in costs, and resolve the shortage of truck drivers, and meet society’s demand for safer, more environmentally-friendly transportation, let alone earn a decent return on investment, without a widespread overhaul of current rate structures.

“The trucking industry will continue to set the standard in terms of service to the Canadian businesses that need to get their goods to market, both domestically and internationally. We will continue to be the workhorse of the Canadian economy. But, we are no longer able or willing either by putting our companies at risk or on the backs of our drivers to subsidize the shipping community."

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