The Canadian Trucking Alliance is calling for the government to include third-party certification in the upcoming mandatory electronic logging device (ELD) rule to ensure hours of service monitoring products used in the Canadian market cannot be compromised or manipulated.
CTA and other stakeholders hoped that Canada Gazette II dealing with the final ELD rule would have been published by now. The main reason for the delay, though, is a policy decision to retain qualified third parties to verify ELD devices in the marketplace meet regulatory requirements, rather than allowing ELD suppliers to self-certify their equipment complies with the technical standards being developed by the Canadian Council of Transport Administrators’ (CCMTA).
The current definition of Electronic Recording Devices (ERD), outlined in the Canadian truck driver hours-of-service regulations, allows editing of drive time; whereas an ELD built to the new standard does not. ELDs have many additional requirements to ensure factual and accurate information about a driver’s hours of service are captured.
Last week CTA’s board of directors voted unanimously to amend its position from self-certification to third-party certification. Assisting in that decision was a presentation by representatives of the insurance firm the Guarantee Company of North America demonstrated how easily certain self-certified ELD devices for the US market (where self-certification is permitted) can be edited to amend the hours of service record for a driver.
“Our preliminary investigation shows multiple self-certified devices in the U.S. marketplace have the capability to allow fleets and drivers to edit hours of service, specifically drive time. We believe there are thousands of these units installed in trucks currently travelling cross-border into the United States,” says Angelique Magi, National VP of Transportation and Strategic Initiatives. “While we can’t speak for other insurers, I can tell you that when we discover these for devices within a customer’s fleet, we require they remove these devices or risk having their insurance cancelled mid-term for not meeting the US Federal Regulations.”
Consequently, CTA also called for the final ELD rule to include punitive federal and provincial penalties for aftermarket tampering of third party-certified ELD equipment.
CTA has been informed by several ELD and insurance providers that third-party certification requirements are already developed for the most part. Therefore, government officials should not be using the policy change to third party certification as an excuse to significantly delay implementation of the final rule, said CTA president Stephen Laskowski.
“Both Transport Canada and the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety are strongly committed to getting this rule on the road and we hope they will work directly with the ELD suppliers to expedite the publishing of Gazette II,” he said.
Furthermore, the CTA Board unanimously amended its position regarding the ELD transition period to 12 months from the publishing of Gazette II as well as eliminating the grandfathering provision for Electronic Recording Devices (ERDs), which would effectively harmonize the Jan. 20120 start date of the Canadian rule with that of the United States.
“This outcome would be highly desirable for road safety and ensuring the continued efficient transportation of US-Canada trade,” said Laskowski. “Since provincial enforcement officials are already dealing with ELDs on over half of the trucks in Canada, an accelerated implementation-enforcement schedule with a third-party certification system is absolutely achievable.”