With ELD’s now mandatory in the United States, Transport Canada is putting together a draft bill on making ELD’s mandatory in Canada as well. The provinces have yet to sign off on a finalized bill, but it is in the works to come into effect in 2019. Just as we have seen in the United States, there is a great deal of controversy in Canada as well. Many people in the industry question the potential benefits of making ELD’s a requirement.
And the Benefits?
There are many cases for and against making ELD’s mandatory. Transport Canada cites the benefits of ELD’s as having huge cost savings. As well as:
preventing accidents, injuries and fatalities,
saving drivers administrative time,
reducing out of service detention time for violations of hours of service (HOS),
and minimizing confusion and hold ups during provincial, territorial, and federal inspections.
The other driving force behind making ELD’s mandatory in Canada, is to match regulations in the United States. Thereby making crossing the border easier as regulations will be the same on both sides of the border.
ELD’s in Canada will have to conform to the standards set out by the Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices (otherwise known as the Technical Standard), published by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). The CCMTA’s design regulations will look to match ELD’s with standards in the United States, but will reflect Canadian HOS. The goal is to regulate ELD’s so that only one unit is needed to be compliant on both sides of the border.
How this Affects Small Businesses
Transport Canada says it recognizes that small businesses comprise 90% of the trucking transport industry. To accommodate this majority, they are applying the “Small Business Lens” to this mandate, and will provide a 2-year implementation period. This will allow businesses to disperse the cost over a longer time frame, and to install devices as commercial vehicles are taken out of commission for other repairs.
Any Exemptions to the Proposed Canadian ELD Mandate?
There are four exemptions currently outlined in the draft bill:
1) Commercial motor vehicles operating under a permit issued by a provincial or territorial HOS director.
2) Anyone operating under a statutory exemption.
3) Rentals used for 30 days or less.
4) Vehicles manufactured prior to 2000.
All Those Opposed…
Organizations such as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), have cited similar concerns as those in the United States. OOIDA says that they feel that the cost outweighs the very small benefits. They argue that Transport Canada overstates the effectiveness of ELD’s preventing accidents, it will only statistically prevent 2 crashes a year, and only save approximately 5 minutes a day in paperwork for drivers.
Watch and Observe
Much like in the United States, there will undoubtedly be some growing pains with this proposed bill. Transport Canada is sitting back to see how the United States handles the new ELD mandate in respect to livestock haulers before adding other conditions to the proposed bill. Hopefully, if the proposed ELD mandate comes to Canada, we can first learn from our neighbours to the south.