Sleeper berth exception gains approval

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OTTAWA, Ont. — The lobby to have a sleeper berth exception included in Canada’s new hours of service regulations appears to be gaining ground.

The Council of Canadian Deputy Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety recently approved the inclusion of a sleeper berth exception to Canada’s revised HOS.

The news was welcomed by CTA CEO and OTA president, David Bradley.

“It was the right thing to do. It makes the Canadian proposals more compatible with the new U.S. rules; it will avoid putting Canadian carriers and drivers in an untenable situation; all without compromising safety,” he said.

The CTA expects the sleeper berth exception will next be approved by the Council of Ministers when they meet later this year. (The federal and provincial governments have indicated they want a final regulation written by September.)

While pleased with the step forward, Bradley said their are still a couple of items that "need to be addressed" in order to avoid a situation where a driver’s driving time is compressed into a fixed window (it’s presently 14 hours in the U.S.) and rest time (e.g., when waiting to be unloaded) will not count for anything.

"It’s important to carriers and to drivers that they get the rest required by the regulations, that they adhere to the new maximum driving/working times, and that they not be button-holed into a subjective, fixed window which would preclude them from maximizing their driving time."

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