OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has renewed its calls for a universal electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) mandate.
In a submission to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), the CTA said it’s time for a mandatory, universal requirement for EOBRs across Canada and ultimately North America.
The CTA contended that enforcement of hours-of-service rules is “spotty at best” and that the current level of logbook falsifications is “unacceptable.”
The CTA said a lack of HoS enforcement has created an unlevel playing field and produced potentially unsafe situations on Canadian highways. The alliance suggested an EOBR mandate would improve the effectiveness of enforcement as well as HoS compliance rates.
That being said, the CTA also said a number of issues need to be addressed before a mandate is drafted.
Enforcement policy: The CTA says it is essential a reasonable, common sense enforcement approach be established and uniformly adopted across all jurisdictions.
US/Canada harmonization: The CTA says that given the level of integration between supply chains in Canada and the US, the pursuit of a common EOBR mandate is important. While CTA said a Canadian and American EOBR mandate don’t necessarily need to be identical, the rules must be compatible.
Privacy: The CTA has insisted the EOBR be used only for HoS recording purposes, not for remotely-controlled vehicle shut-down, lock-out, etc. Personal and competitive information must be protected and the industry must have some say on the type, amount and frequency of the data government has access to.
Technology: The CTA urged the CCMTA not to prescribe specific technologies, but rather to concentrate on the data that will be required and the suitable formats. Many carriers have already invested in equipment from various vendors and should not have to buy additional, redundant technology, the CTA pointed out.
Costs: Finally, the CTA pointed out the CCMTA should be leery of those who try to use costs as a “wedge issue” to avoid having to comply with an EOBR mandate. “This is not a small carrier vs large carrier issue,” the CTA said in its submission. “It is an issue of responsible carriers versus those who wish to continue to operate in a gray area.”
The CCMTA working group is preparing a final report on the subject, which will be submitted to the Council of Deputy Ministers of Transportation in October.
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