TORONTO, ON – Transport Canada has officially launched “informal” consultations around Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) — a move that the Canadian Trucking Alliance sees as a precursor to mandating the equipment for federally regulated carriers.
Such consultations come before the more formal process of publishing a proposed rule in Canada Gazette Part 1, which the alliance expects sometime in early 2017. A 60-day comment period would then be required before a final rule is published, and a compliance date would be one or two years after that.
“The momentum is clearly building towards a mandate,” said David Bradley, president and CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA). He also called on provincial governments to “get on board and start preparing” for mandates that mirror those at the federal level.
Transport Canada itself is more measured in its language when discussing the study in the context of Hours of Service regulations. “This consultation is still very preliminary and involves questions on how this amendment, if enacted, would affect stakeholders,” a spokeswoman said, responding to questions from Today’s Trucking. “The department is also seeking stakeholder feedback on the advantages and disadvantages of mandating the use of these devices and how best to implement them. Transport Canada will review all comments to determine the next steps.”
But there is no mistaking the growing pressure for a mandate. The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will require ELDs to track Hours of Service by December 2017. While Canada was the first to propose technical standards for the devices, it has been playing catch-up ever since. The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators unveiled a revised draft of proposed technical standards on July 12, when it opened a two-month consultation process of its own.
“The release of Transport Canada’s Benefit Cost Analysis, which is expected to show a strong net benefit for an ELD mandate, is also likely to occur soon,” the CTA adds, noting that an analysis completed last year identified a 2:1 ratio of benefits to costs.
– Updates to the original version of this article include comments from Transport Canada.