OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has received the support of Canada’s transport ministers in its goal to implement a standard for the use of electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs).
Canada’s Council of Deputy Transport Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety have agreed to work with the CTA to create a National Safety Code standard that will detail the use of EOBRs. The Alliance has been pushing the government to work with it to develop an EOBR mandate since 2004 and has increased its urgency lately with suggestions the US is planning to move forward with an EOBR mandate of its own.
CTA’s opinion is that Canada should act as a policy-maker, not a policy-taker when it comes to developing an EOBR mandate. The Alliance cited previous examples of instances where Canada benefited from taking a proactive approach to developing its own standards rather than simply waiting for the US to act first.
“Had Canada, for example, adopted a wait and see approach to the federal hours-of-service regulations we would not have achieved one of the more constructive aspects of both the Canadian and US regulations – the voluntary rest and recovery provision, which was developed and proposed by CTA in the early 1990’s. And, we would not have the flexibility we have under Canada’s sleeper berth provisions,” said CTA chief David Bradley.
Bradley admitted implementing a national EOBR standard will not be easy.
“No one, least of all CTA, discounts the amount of consultation and work that will be required. We do not underestimate the significant challenges an EOBR mandate imposes on industry and government,” he said. “It is essential that there be a smooth, orderly transition and implementation that allows industry and government the time to adjust and puts in place mechanisms and policies to deal effectively with concerns over costs, enforcement policy, etc.”
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