While the PMTC is fully in favour of moving forward with ELD enforcement on January 1st of 2023, that doesn’t mean there isn’t significant work that still needs done to ensure the roll out is as smooth and fair as possible.
Items that need addressed prior to January 1, 2023
- As we understand it currently, a total of 8 Provinces and Territories are likely to have regulations 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) is required. As of today Transport Canada (TC) has selected a vendor and the system has been developed to allow this to occur. Our discussions with ELD providers indicates integration has begun, however the rollout for all providers is going to take time, but we do believe most providers, if not all, will have this integrated by January 1st. With the enforcement date only 4 months away, time is an issue, and this step needs to be completed asap.
The bigger issue, as we see it, is ensuring everyone in enforcement has access to view the encrypted logs. In order for an officer to be able to decrypt the logs, each individual officer must be provided an encryption key, which will allow them to view the encrypted logs. We have been told through discussions with stakeholders that it is unlikely that everyone who wants access to encryption keys will be provided one, rather only those who are deemed to need it. While this may sound reasonable, it is actually very problematic. Currently, many RCMP and OPP officers, as well as some City and municipal police forces will review drivers’ logbooks during a blitz, or a routine road stop. If we do not allow all officers who may interact with drivers access to view logs, we are actually reducing enforcement of the hours-of-service regulation, which is the exact opposite outcome of one of the items ELD regulation was brought into address. This issue, in the PMTC; s view, needs to be addressed.
- We must 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 across the board.
- The Conviction Equivalency Table needs to be updated to include ELD violations, among other updates. We encourage the jurisdictions, TC and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) to work towards having this updated and into effect as soon as possible near the January 1st date of enforcement. While updating this table, we also encourage regulators to ensure the pointing and fine levels are significant for carriers that are not using certified ELD’s. We must ensure there is teeth in the regulation and severe consequences for carriers who will not comply with the regulation. If the point values that are applied to a carrier’s safety rating are low, non-compliant carriers may just consider this a cost of doing business and continue to ignore the regulation. High point values will endanger their carrier safety rating profile, and if they continue to choose to ignore the regulation, could lead to an operating suspension, which is what is required if we want all carriers to comply with the regulation and have the desired effect on hours service compliance.
- Ontario has a robust exemption for Drive-away tow away operators, which are also exempt in the US Federal regulations. Quebec has also just released their draft regulations which has an exemption in there, and our discussion with B.C. indicate they are likely to exempt this. PMTC has learned through discussions with regulators and drive-away tow away operators that it appears some of the remaining provinces and territories may not exempt this, and some are unable to as they adopt the federal regulations by reference. In order for these jurisdictions to exempt it, the change must occur in the federal regulation. If we are unable to have this exemption in place federally by January 1st, it will lead to massive confusion and harm to this segment of the industry, which is already struggling with vehicle build and delivery times as a result of supply chain issues. We need TC to adopt this exemption in the federal regulations or address it in another manner to ensure we have uniformity across jurisdictions.
- We also have a very real issue with the ferry exemption that must be addressed in a timely manner, and at the latest prior to January 1st. For reference, please see the section from the regs below that outlines the current exemption.
17 Despite sections 13 and 14, a driver travelling by a ferry crossing that takes more than 5 hours is not required to take the mandatory 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time if
- (a)the time spent resting in a sleeper berth while waiting at the terminal to board the ferry, in rest accommodations on the ferry and at a rest stop that is no more than 25 km from the point of disembarkation from the ferry combine to total a minimum of 8 hours;
- (b)the hours are recorded in the record of duty status as off-duty time spent in a sleeper berth;
- (c)the driver retains, as a supporting document, the receipt for the crossing and rest accommodation fees; and
- (d)the supporting document coincides with the record of duty status entries.
As you can see from above, the exemption allows drivers to combine times boarding the ferry, time on the ferry and driving to a spot with-in 25 km’s to rest after disembarking the ferry together to meet their 8 hour off duty segment and requires the driver to mark these driving segments as off duty in the sleeper berth. The issue we have, is this provision was missed in the technical standard, and there is currently no legal way for an ELD to record the ferry exemption accurately as the regulation requires. The technical standard requires all driving time to be automatically recorded and it is not allowed to be edited. The only time an ELD can record driving time as off duty is by use of Personal conveyance, which has strict guidelines.
Since the Canadian ELD regs do not allow for automatically recorded driving time to be edited, we must provide a solution for this issue. The PMTC suggestion would be for TC and CCMTA to issue an enforcement guidance that allows a driver to record this as personal use, but then indicate in their remarks they are utilizing the section 17 ferry exemption. While this is not technically accurate, it would allow the device to track hours correctly until a more permanent solution can be developed.
The PMTC has long been supportive of the ELD regulation, and congratulate TC, the CCMTA and the provincial and territorial jurisdictions for the work that has been done to get us to this point. We do believe this regulation, if implemented and enforced properly will help increase compliance with he hours of serviced regulations, which will level the playing field and help to reduce driver fatigue. Everyone has done a great job getting us here, but there is still work to do. We are not near the finish line; we have just actually crossed the starting line.