Canada will require the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) beginning in June 2021, making official a long-sought regulation of the commercial transportation industry.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the implementation date and the finalized regulations governing ELDs on June 13 outside the headquarters of the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Ontario Trucking Association in Toronto.
“This is a significant step toward safer roads, and I am proud of the work that was accomplished with the industry. We have consulted extensively with them and listened to their concerns,” Garneau said.
Transport Canada has estimated that ELDs will reduce the amount of fatigue-related collisions by 10 percent.
The mandate, which also applies to commercial buses, includes third-party certification of all ELDs in Canada. Garneau said the addition came in response to industry concerns.
Third-party certification stands in contrast to the U.S., where manufacturers self-certify devices. Members of the Canadian industry have expressed concerns that self-certified devices could be more prone to tampering.
The Canadian government expects it will take 12 months to accredit certification bodies and for ELDs themselves to get approved. This will likely result in a smaller pool of devices available in Canada.
Canada’s ELD mandate was already in the works when a trucker in Saskatchewan collided with a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, killing 16 people. Investigators uncovered numerous violations in the driver’s paper log.
Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, said the Humboldt crash blemished Canada’s trucking industry. The ELD mandate, he said, would ensure a level playing field for hours of service compliance.
“This will close the door on hours of service violations,” Laskowski said.
Rule largely in harmony with U.S.
ELD use is already common in the Canadian trucking industry because of the extensive cross-border business with the U.S. Transport Canada estimates that about 67,000 trucks engaging in domestic routes will need to make the switch from paper logs or electronic recording devices (ERDs), which allow users to edit logs.
The regulations also were drafted to allow for as much harmony as possible with the U.S. “to facilitate trade and minimize the impact on Canada’s cross-border operators,” according to the published ELD rule.
A financial analysis by Transport Canada estimated that the implementation of ELDs will cost the industry about C$49 million (the Canadian dollar equals C$0.75) in 2021. The cost would be more than offset by C$54 million in benefits such as operating efficiencies.