In a statement released last week, the Canadian Trucking Alliance said it views the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's latest electronic onboard recorder rule issued on April 2 as an interim step towards a much broader rule governing EOBR
The CTA says there's no need for Canada to adopt an interim EOBR rule, and it could go straight into a broader mandate.
The CTA says there's no need for Canada to adopt an interim EOBR rule, and it could go straight into a broader mandate.

While the FMCSA will begin a new rulemaking process later this year to consider "regulatory options for significantly expanding the population of carriers covered by an EOBR mandate," the CTA is urging the Canadian government to establish a universal mandate now.

"Canada is not bound by the same regulatory structures as U.S. and could if it so chooses move to a broad or universal mandate from the outset," said David Bradley, CEO of CTA.

A working group of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) has been tasked by the Council of Deputy Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety to come up with recommendations for a Canadian EOBR mandate this fall.

"Obviously, you would still want to be harmonized with the U.S. from a technology standards point of view, and it is imperative that industry and government reach accord on a fair and equitable enforcement policy, and a technology investment plan, but there is no obligation on the Canadian governments to introduce an interim, remedial step as the FMCSA is doing," Bradley said. "It would likely only take a couple of U.S. fleets to get caught up in the new rule before you'd see more of them calling for universal mandate."

The FMCSA's new rule, which will go into effect June 1, 2012, says carriers that violate hours of service rules 10 percent of the time, based on single compliance review, must use electronic onboard recorders to track driver hours. The lesser option would have been to target carriers based on two compliance reviews conducted within a 2-year period.

In its comments in the Federal Register, the FMCSA said it was not able to extend the rule beyond those covered because "the scope of the current rulemaking proceeding is limited to compliance-based regulatory approaches, implemented through a remedial directive."

Canada, however, is not bound by the same rulemaking process, CTA says.