According to the Edmonton Sun, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, made up of transportation ministers, their staffers and trucking industry reps, suggested truckers be allowed to stay on duty for 14 hours before having to stop for a 10-hour rest. Current Canadian regulations allow truckers to stay on the road for 13 hours per day before they take an eight-hour break.
"The extension of hours of service is unacceptable," said Teamsters Local 362 secretary-treasurer Roy Finley. "We're bitterly opposed to it," he told the paper. "People would be on the road longer and our roads would become that much more unsafe."
The Teamsters protested the idea Thursday as Alberta Infrastructure Minister Ed Stelmach met with provincial counterparts and federal Transport Minister David Collenette.
The Teamsters cited fatigue studies that show every hour of duty truckers serve over 10 hours increases fatigue by 30%.
Current laws say truckers can only drive 60 hours per week, but the proposal would allow drivers to start a new 70-hour work cycle after a 36-hour layoff. As a result, the Teamsters would allow drivers to average up to 86 hours of driving per week.
However, Lane Kranenburg, general manager of the Alberta Trucking Industry Safety Assn., thinks the ministers have the right idea.
He told the paper that the proposed rules would require truckers to load, drive, unload and do vehicle maintenance during that 14 hours, then do nothing but rest for 10 hours.
Stelmach is also looking at new rules that would see drivers and companies both fined for logbook violations, overweight loads and other offenses, the Sun said.