Canada launches its own push for ELD mandate

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line Digital Content Editor | 12/22/2017

Now that the electronic logging device mandate is in effect in the United States, the government of Canada is moving forward with its own law requiring the devices in commercial motor vehicles.

Transport Canada formally published a draft version of its ELD mandate on Dec. 16. According to the document, nearly half of all Canadian commercial motor vehicles are engaged in cross-border operations with the U.S., and are required to use ELDs to comply with U.S. law. The proposal is expected to be finalized within two years.

In Canada, the federal government is responsible for limited operational matters for commercial bus and truck motor vehicles under the Motor Vehicle Transportation Act. Hours-of-service regulations are both federal and provincial. Provinces and territories are responsible for the enforcement of safety on Canadian roads, including the enforcement of federal HOS regulations.

Transport Canada’s proposal estimates a cost of over $125 million for motor carriers to comply with the mandate, and an estimated savings of $255.4 million by “reducing crashes, reduced out-of-service detention time of drivers for HOS violations” and time savings for the industry and the government by transitioning away from paper logs.

Unlike its counterpart regulation stateside, the proposed Canadian mandate would not adopt certain technical provisions that have no corresponding requirements, such as the U.S. requirement that the devices record the vehicle identification number or shipping document number. Canadian ELDs would be required to record deferral of time status and the driver’s declared cycle, which are things the U.S. regulations don’t address.

The Canadian rule also would not mirror the U.S. requirement for vendors of ELDs to self-certify and register their devices “because the self-certification process provides very little in the way of additional assurance to the motor carrier that the ELD is compliant with the technical specification in the proposed regulations” the proposal states.

The plan would allow for a two-year grandfathering in of first-generation electronic recording devices, or ERDs.

Last year, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed comments on behalf of its Canadian members against a proposed ELD mandate, citing many of the same concerns it has with the U.S. version.

The OOIDA Foundation produced an analysis of the regulatory impact analysis for Canada’s proposal in 2016. These are some of the findings from the Foundation:

  • In instances where data was unavailable or unreliable, U.S. numbers, estimates and analytical methodologies from FMCSA were used, which of course causes great concern for the Foundation considering the severe bias and limitations of the Agency’s analysis.
  • Transport Canada admitted that 99.1 percent of all benefits are attributed to industry savings, or in other words time not spent filling out a paper logs (4.5 to 6 minutes)
  • Transport Canada determined that ELDs would reduce the CMV crash rate by 0.003 percent, equating to 21 crashes (not fatalities or injuries, just crashes) during the 10-year span, or about 2 crashes per year.

“Transport Canada admitted that ‘data demonstrates that most CMV fatigue-related collisions involved drivers that were operating within allowable HOS limits. As such, ELDs are assumed to be less effective in reducing these crashes,’” said Andrew King, OOIDA research assistant. “However, they justify the rulemaking based on time savings due to the elimination of paper-based logs. Somehow saving 4.5 to 6 minutes per day generates millions and millions of dollars. Drivers should all take exception to this, as they are not paid for filling out paper logs.”



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