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New Canadian HoS rules to take effect in January 2007

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The Canadian Trucking Alliance says it welcomes the announcement from Transport Canada that the new...

OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance says it welcomes the announcement from Transport Canada that the new Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations are about to be published in Canada Gazette Part II.

The announcement signals that the rules have been finalized at the federal level and now need to be mirrored in provincial regulations to provide a uniform regime across the country. The new regulations are slated to kick in Jan. 1, 2007.

“It has taken us twelve years to get to this stage,” said Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO David Bradley. “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 provided 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. We said all along that we were being guided by an emphasis on safety, the science of fatigue, and alertness management principles,” Bradley said.

He added that at the same time the business needs of trucking companies and their drivers had to be taken into account and expects that the new regulations will reflect many of the proposals put forward by CTA.

“We’ll have to see the fine print, but we anticipate that the new regulations will include CTA recommendations like 13 hours daily driving, the 36-hour reset; 48-hour averaging of off-duty time; and cycles of 70 hours in 7 days and 120 in 14. In light of recent developments in the US, one of the most important provisions will be the ability for drivers to split off-duty time in a sleeper berth; this flexibility has been severely restricted in new regulations south of the border,” Bradley said.

Our own Transportation Media Research shows that 46% of Canadian fleets hauling stateside believe the US regulations which allow for fewer driving hours than the Canadian rules — are experiencing at least some impact on their productivity when hauling stateside with 6% of them reporting that loss of productivity has been significant. Nineteen per cent of those carriers have either added or expect to add additional tractors to compensate for the loss in productivity.

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 January 2007 launch date.

“It is important for the industry that this matter be put to bed,” said Bradley. “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.”

The new regulations are scheduled to be posted Nov. 16, 2005, on the Canada Gazette website at

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