The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators has released a discussion paper related to the development of a national standard mandating the use of electronic on-board recorders in Canada.
The paper not only provides background on the subject, but it also asks stakeholders to answer a series of questions and provide relevant information by March 11.

In the spring of 2009, the Council of Deputy Ministers of Transportation directed the CCMTA to explore issues related to an EOBR mandate and report back with recommendations in the fall of 2010. A project group was formed, with representation from the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and from Transport Canada and Societe de l'assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), with support from CCMTA.

CCMTA will present a final, detailed report to the Council of Deputy Ministers of Transportation in October 2010, which will include an aggregated analysis of stakeholder feedback as well as the working group's analysis and recommendations.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance favors a universal EOBR mandate to ensure a level competitive playing field in terms of compliance and to ensure that drivers are getting at least the prescribed opportunity for rest. However, CTA also believes there needs to be a uniform North American system where the programs in Canada and the U.S. are compatible with each other.

"We were not comfortable with leaving it entirely to the U.S. to decide what a North American EOBR regime should look like," said David Bradley, CEO of CTA. "Had we done that on hours of service, for example, we wouldn't have such things in Canada as the ability to split time in the sleeper berth, which gives drivers and carriers a lot more flexibility.

"There are a lot of issues that need to be ironed out; this is a very complex matter and we want our governments to get it right in terms of what is good for the Canadian situation and the Canadian industry," he added. "Then we will have something useful to share with the Americans. Experience has taught us that it is unlikely and not essential that the rules are identical in both countries, but they must be compatible. We don't want to have to invest in different technology to operate in either country."