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Canada to require Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) in 2021

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Canada to require ELDs in 2021

Canada’s long-awaited electronic logging device (ELD) rule has been published, which the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) says will catapult Canada ahead of the U.S. in terms of safety and compliance.

The made-in-Canada regulation requires third-party device certification, something the U.S. did not pursue, and a detail the Canadian trucking industry lobbied to have included. In the U.S., devices are self-certified, which has led to the arrival in the market of ELDs that can be modified or tampered with.

The rule was announced by government and industry officials at a press briefing at Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) headquarters on June 13. Officials said the new rule will be introduced nationally as soon as possible.

By June 2021, third-party-certified ELDs will have to be used by all truck drivers currently required to maintain a logbook. The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by industry associations.  The hours-of-service rules themselves will not be changed; they’ll simply have to be recorded using an ELD.

The final rule also accelerates the implementation timeframe, from the initially proposed four years, to two. But unlike in the U.S., existing automatic on-board recording devices will not be grandfathered.

“Third-party certification of ELDs is critical for hours-of-service compliance and fatigue management as the technology behind ELD devices is key to ensuring drivers and companies follow their work-rest cycles,” said Stephen Laskowski, CTA president. “As we learned from the previous era of paper logbooks, the non-compliant segment of our industry, while a minority, have a history of finding workarounds of the rules. We must ensure that there are no gaps or opportunities to manipulate the technology and that compliance is the only option.”

“The government has consulted with the ELD suppliers with regards to how they would see a third-party regime working – and that’s not just the technical elements from the tests, but their wants from the flexibility of a third-party supplier with different labs,” Laskowski said. “They need to be gatekeepers of the technology,” he said of the chosen labs. “The objective is to set up a system that’s viable, credible, and will make sure technology is tamper-proof.”

It’s not yet clear who will provide third-party certification.