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Tracking Time: Electronic Logging Devices now mandatory

Ottawa, Ontario – Electronic logging devices are now mandatory in commercial trucks and busses travelling between provinces.

The electronic logging devices (ELDs) replace the use of paper log books that drivers use to track the number of hours they are driving daily.

Under federal hours of service rules, drivers are not allowed to drive more than 13 hours in a day, and they must have at least 10 hours off-duty time each day, of which at least eight hours must be consecutive.

From 2010 to 2015 Transport Canada noted provincial and territorial governments recorded an annual average of 9,400 hours of service violations by drivers, one quarter of those were for exceeding the maximum amount of hours.

Other infractions included operating two daily logs at the same time, or for falsifying the information in a daily log, or not producing a daily log at all.

“It’s going to force [non-compliant trucking companies] to get into the game and be compliant and be safe or face the consequences,” Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski said.

“It’s going to make Canadian roads safer and it’s going to make it a better industry to work in.”

While about 70 per cent of the trucks in Canada already have ELDs, it’s not necessarily a welcome change to everyone in the industry.

“They’re a blessing and a curse,” said veteran truck driver Jesse Scobie.

“You don’t have to write a paper log — that’s one good point. But they keep you under the gun with the electronic log,” said Scobie, a truck driver for 25 years.

Scobie has been using ELD’s for years and says they can act as a distraction with blinking lights and an ‘ annoying voice’.

Transport Canada says operators won’t be penalized for any trucks that don’t have an approved device until June 2022, instead enforcement measures will start with education and raising awareness.

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