The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) has worked in collaboration with Transport Canada, (TC) the CCMTA as well as the Provinces & Territories (PT’s) for more than 10 years, to shape an electronic logging device mandate that will improve health and safety for the general public, as well as improve compliance with the regulations, and thus level the playing field and improve conditions for the entire Canadian Trucking Industry. Working together, we learned from the mistakes made in the US, and introduced an independent 3rd party certification process, to ensure ELD’s that are approved, go through a rigorous process to ensure they are compliant with the regulations.
In March of 2021 CCMTA, TC and the Provinces and Territories all agreed to delay full enforcement of the Federal ELD regulation until June 12th of 2022. This change had to be made, in part, as there were no certified devices that existed at the time. While we all hoped the delay in full enforcement would allow enough time for a fulsome list of devices to be approved, as well as solve other compliance and enforcement related issues, the fact is we still have many items to address. For these reasons, the PMTC was pleased to hear of a further delay in enforcement until January 1, 2023. We believe this was a prudent and responsible decision to allow enough time for issues to be rectified and provide a smoother roll out of full enforcement.
Saturation of approved devices
As of writing this on March 15th, we have 25 certified ELD’s on the marketplace, from 14 different suppliers. While still more will be needed to provide a good saturation and options for carriers to select from, we believe the extra time provided allows ELD providers with enough time to get their devices submitted for approval in advance of the new date and allow carriers to select from a fulsome list and transition to ensure compliance by January of 2023. The PMTC would not be in favour of any further delays in enforcement as a result of a lack of devices. We believe, with this most recent delay in full enforcement, enough time has now been provided for suppliers & industry.
Items that need addressed prior to January 1, 2023
- As we understand it currently, a total of 8 Provinces and Territories have regulations in place or will have them in place in time to enforce the federal regulation on January 1st of 2023. As National uniformity in enforcement is important, we believe the remaining jurisdictions need to take the steps necessary to ensure they can enforce the mandate by January 1st as well. While we believe uniformity is important, regardless of the readiness of the remaining jurisdictions, we believe we must move forward with enforcement for those that are ready by January of 2023 with no further delays.
- To ensure a driver’s Records of Duty Status (RODS) is securely transmitted over the air from the truck to law enforcement, a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) infrastructure is required. We have learned that TC just recently selected a vendor to develop and implement a system that allows an encrypted ELD Output File transferred securely from truck to the officer, as required by the Technical Standards (TS), to decrypt the message and allow the content to be viewed. The vendor now must ensure the system is in place in a timely fashion to ensure the system is functional & understood well in advance of the new full enforcement date.
- We have heard from concerned parties that analyzing RODS at roadside to verify HOS compliance is going to be very challenging. The ELD Output File is required to provide a driver’s RODS in two standard file formats, PDF and CSV. Currently Canada does not have a method like the United States’ ERODS system for translating the CSV file to a format usable by enforcement. Therefore, to verify 15 days of RODS, enforcement is currently limited to reviewing the PDF, which can be 50 pages or more in length. In addition, certain ELD event codes such as Event Record of Origin and Event Record Status, are not explained in words, but remain in code format otherwise found only in the TS. This means enforcement officers need to understand the meaning of codes wherever such code appears in the PDF. There is a significant concern if RODS verification is too time consuming and difficult to understand, enforcement may simply look at the graph grid on the display and make assumptions regarding a driver’s HOS compliance without looking at event details. We need to ensure these issues are rectified, and significant enforcement training of the items in the TS displayed on the device and in the PDF occurs well in advance of full enforcement taking hold. The main purpose of mandating the use of ELDs is to ensure easier and more accurate verification of HOS compliance leading to a reduction in the instances of operating a commercial motor vehicle while fatigued. We need to ensure the proper tools are in place to ensure this is what occurs.
- We need to ensure ELD violations are applied onto a carrier’s Provincial safety rating no matter which jurisdiction they are based out of or charged in. As we understand it, currently no such system is in place with ELD violations to ensure this occurs.
- Ontario has a robust exemption for Drive-away tow away operators, which are also exempt in the US Federal regulations. Quebec is also indicating they may exempt this. PMTC has learned through discussions with regulators and drive-away tow away operators that it appears the remaining provinces and territories will not exempt this, which will lead to massive confusion and harm to this industry. Can Transport Canada adopt this exemption in the federal regulations, or address it in another manner to ensure we have uniformity across jurisdictions?
The PMTC and its members are appreciative of the common-sense approach to this delay in full enforcement. We know significant pressure existed to move forward with the June 12th enforcement date, however we are in full support of the delay and believe it was the only decision that could be made to ensure a smooth rollout. At the same time, we need to ensure this extra time is not wasted, and work needs to begin immediately to remedy the issues raised above to ensure we have everything in place required to ensure we are prepared for full enforcement well in advance of what we hope is the final delay in enforcement that will be required.