In a statement, the Canadian Trucking Alliance said there should be a mandatory, universal requirement for electronic on-board recorders in Canada and all of North America.
However, the organization points to several key issues that need to be addressed before a mandate is passed.

"The hours of service regulations are among the most complex that the trucking industry must comply with," the CTA said. "This creates challenges for industry and for enforcement personnel. The lack of effective enforcement of the hours of service rules has not only created potentially unsafe situations and created an unlevel playing field between carriers, but it has also denigrated the credibility of the regulators and sustained a negative mythology about the trucking industry's compliance record. A universal EOBR mandate would improve the effectiveness of both the enforcement effort and compliance with the hours of service regulations."

Before a universal mandate becomes a reality, the CTA says there are certain issues that need to be addressed, including the establishment of an enforcement approach as part of the introduction. CTA says there also needs to be a common U.S.-Canada approach to EOBRs, as well as some sort of protection of privacy. CTA also calls for a thorough examination of all technological options.

"Instead of prescribing specific technologies, an EOBR mandate should concentrate on what data is required and in what format and allow carriers the flexibility to determine which EOBR technology is best suited to their specific business," CTA said in its statement.

The last issue is the cost impact of implementing EOBRs. The CTA says the mandate should take into account cost issues related to the technology.

"Cost concerns and financial implications can be managed by a combination of establishing a realistic and reasonable timeframe for full implementation of the mandate and by providing meaningful incentives (tax, grants, rebates, and/or credits) to encourage and assist accelerated investment in the technology," the CTA said. "There will never be an ideal time for a mandated investment, and credit is currently very tight, but a fair and incentivized transition would significantly reduce opposition on those grounds. Moreover, the costs associated with the purchase of EOBR technology would fall as the market grew."