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CTA wants feds to move straight to universal EOBR mandate

Posted: August 1, 2014

OTTAWA — With hints that the U.S. will move towards a broader mandate for electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) usage later this year, the Canadian Trucking Alliance figures Canada should just head there now.

To the CTA, it seems abundantly clear that the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) views its latest EOBR rule, issued on April 2, as an interim step and will inevitably move towards a much broader if not universal mandate for EOBRs.

The new rule from the FMCSA will go into effect on June 1, 2012, and will require carriers with 10 percent or greater HOS violations during a single compliance review to install EOBRs on all their vehicles for a two-year period.

The FMCSA was not able to extend the EOBR mandate beyond those covered by last week’s final rule because “the scope of the current rulemaking proceeding is limited to compliance-based regulatory approaches, implemented through a remedial directive.”

As a result, the FMCSA announced it “has begun work to evaluate regulatory options for significantly expanding the population of carriers covered by an EOBR mandate.” This will occur under a new rule-making proceeding to be started later this year.

In domestic matters, a working group of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) has been tasked by the Council of Deputy Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety to come up with recommendations for a Canadian EOBR mandate this fall.

According to David Bradley, CEO of the CTA, whose association has long supported a universal EOBR mandate, “Canada is not bound by the same regulatory structures as US and could if it so chooses move to a broad or universal mandate from the outset.

“Obviously, you would still want to be harmonized with the U.S. from a technology standards point of view, and it is imperative that industry and government reach accord on a fair and equitable enforcement policy, and a technology investment plan, but there is no obligation on the Canadian governments to introduce an interim, remedial step as the FMCSA is doing.”

“In fact,” he continues, “it would likely only take a couple of U.S. fleets to get caught up in the new rule before you’d see more of them calling for universal mandate.”

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