Provincial ministers say "oui" to HOS standard

| Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Unswayed by firm opposition from labor unions and the Canadian for Responsible and Safe Highways (CRASH), Canada's transport ministers have unanimously approved a new federal hours-of-service standard for Canadian truck drivers, saying that it will give drivers more opportunity to rest.

"Ordinary people who drive on the highways where there are ever more trucks present want to know that those drivers do have mandatory rest periods, that they are not able to work the number of hours that they are currently allowed to work," federal Transport Minister David Collenette told reporters after the ministers' meeting in Winnipeg. According to Today's Trucking, Collenette said that those who dispute the new rules have other interests and are really in favor of other modes of transportation.

Currently, a truck driver can be on duty up to 16 hours in a 24-hour period and can log as many as 104 hours in seven days. The new standard restricts drivers to 14 hours on duty (13 hours driving) followed by 10 hours off, and 84 hours in a seven-day period. A driver who accumulates 70 hours after consecutive five days must take 36 hours off before going back to work.

Provincial transport officials have said they want the new standard to take effect next September.

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