Driver fatigue target of new rules coming in 2017 for buses, trucks

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After years of weigh, the federal government says it will implement new safety regulations in two years that are aligned with U.S. essays to tackle fatigue among truck and bus drivers.

Drivers will be demanded to electronically record their hours on the road, says Transport Canada, characterizing a change from the mandatory per logs that have been in use since the 1930s.

The balances would cover cross-border and interprovincial travel and should be in place when correspond to rules in the U.S. come into force in late 2017, Transport Canada states.

The changes will be “operationally feasible for the industry” and aligned as much as achievable with provinces and the U.S., said Transport Canada spokeswoman Natasha Gauthier.

“The specialized specifications and standards for electronic logging device (ELD) technology may differ slight between the U.S. and Canada, but should not be necessarily inconsistent,” she wrote in an email.

Ottawa old-fogeyish to act

In making the changes, the Liberal government is following through on a commitment made endure year by former transport minister Lisa Raitt. But the Conservatives did not set a timeline.

Vigour players have been frustrated by how long it has taken Ottawa to mutation the regulations.

“We have been talking about this for 10 years,” express Motor Coach Canada CEO Doug Switzer.

“Ironically, the industry desire like to see regulations on these kinds of things and it’s the government that is draggling their feet on it.”

Once implemented, commercial truck and bus drivers bequeath be required to record their hours behind the wheel with hallmarks that automatically record driving time by monitoring engine hours, conduit movement, kilometres driven and location information.

Saves lives and loot

The devices are estimated by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to annually put aside $1 billion US in administrative costs, about 26 lives and bar 562 injuries. Similar Canadian figures weren’t available.

The entities also make it easier for provincial officials monitoring compliance and should oration concerns that handwritten forms could be doctored.

The Canadian Stock Alliance says the move towards electronic logs will introduce the industry into the 21st century.

“Our industry shares its workplace with the available more than any of the other mode of transportation, yet the enforcement community is relying upon an archaic, outdated way of audit and enforcing what is arguably the most important safety rule,” estimated president David Bradley.

13-hour days

The devices, which yment an average of a couple of thousand dollars depending on type of unit, hunt down hours on the road and rest periods to help com nies to better watch over their fleet.

Truckers and bus drivers can be behind the wheel for up to 13 hours in a day but requisite be off-duty for 10 hours, eight of which must be consecutive.

Bradley reported about half of Canadian trucks have or are in the process of installing electronic charges.

TransForce, one of North America’s largest trucking com nies, said the ap ratus are already installed in all of its big fleets in the U.S.

“It’s just the small guys that are not get ready yet but they will have to get ready for the end of 2017,” CEO Alain Bedard told analysts during a talk call Friday.

There is general acceptance among drivers, be revenged though privacy concerns have been raised because the electronic ruses allow com nies to track their every move, says Leo Laliberte, subsidiary director of the freight division of Teamsters Canada, which represents nearby 25,000 truckers in the country.

Canada’s unique challenges for truckers

In above moreover to reducing fatigue, the devices and anti-harassment provisions in U.S. regulations protect women from being forced by com nies facing driver shortages to function longer hours, he said.

Laliberte said the regulations in Canada should lampoon into account the country’s unique challenges, including longer tours distances and fewer rest stops com red to the U.S.

“In Canada, you’ve got to plan find agreeable five hours ahead to make sure that you’ll be at a truck clog up when your machine is going to tell you you won’t have any more hours,” he voiced.

Joanne Ritchie, executive director of the Owner-Operator’s Business Association of Canada, weighted small fleet owners also aren’t opposed to the adoption of new technology but fancy a voluntary system that includes incentives.

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