TORONTO, ON – Canada’s transportation ministers met in Toronto today, discussing a broad array of initiatives such as the mandating of Electronic Logging Devices and the need to study truck-mounted systems like side guards that could better protect “vulnerable” road users.
The ministers have also agreed to create a task force to harmonize truck-related regulations “wherever possible”, said Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau. Unspecified changes to the Memorandum of Understanding that governs weights and dimensions were also agreed to in principle.
Following a call from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Transport Canada is establishing a committee to study measures such as side guards, cameras and other devices that could help to protect pedestrians and cyclists around trucks.
“Some municipalities have on their own implemented side guards, but we want to look at possibly other technologies that would help, and to make a decision about where it’s appropriate,” Garneau said, responding to a question from Today’s Trucking. “It may be something that remains at the municipality level. It may be something that goes beyond.”
“This task force is going to look at the problem itself, [and] whether there is sufficient evidence to show that we need to put in place specific measures,” he said.
Garneau added that Canada is also considering a “similar approach” to the pending U.S. mandate for Electronic Logging Devices.
“The position of the federal government is that we want to move toward Electronic Logging Devices. We plan to put something forward in 2017 on that subject,” he said.
Climate change, distracted and drug-impaired driving, and automated vehicles were also on the agenda.
“A lot of the new technological innovation and disruptive change [is] occurring within the transportation sector,” said Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, co-chairman of the event. The goal is to ensure governments can be “nimble and to be responsive, whether we’re talking about climate change, whether we’re talking about automated connected vehicles, whether we’re talking about ensuring that we continue to keep up with some of the other road safety challenges,” he said.
“As the transportation system evolves and adapts, we need to better anticipate and prepare for the changes to come,” said Garneau. “A long-term agenda for transportation in Canada will position the system to support economic growth, create jobs, promote a healthier environment, and strengthen Canada’s middle class and competitiveness in global markets.”
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