On May 2, 2012, The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said that its campaign to provide carriers, drivers, owner-operators with an easy way to send pro-EOBR messages to federal MPs is gaining ground. According to the CTA, “To date, several hundred carrier companies and individual drivers have sent about 1,500 messages directly to MPs from across Canada.”
The web forums are crackling with debate both for and against electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs). Many comments cannot be reprinted here, but some point to a rich fabric of support for EOBRs—from fleets owners to independent drivers. Ultimately, EOBRs support accountable drivers.
“Bring on the EOBRs. Drivers need a wakeup call as to the hours they’re putting in and not getting paid.”
If you’d like to weigh in for EOBR support, here’s what you can do:
1. Look up your Member of Parliament (for Canadians only).
2. Choose from the following links:
3. Complete the form and choose Submit.
4. Alternatively, by typing a four-digit text code, drivers can send a message to their MPs from a cell phone. Simply text the letters eobr to the number 77777.
Federal Transport Minister, Denis Lebel, said EOBRs can “improve Hours of Service regulatory compliance by reducing the opportunity for commercial drivers to exceed regulated driving hours or falsify logbooks”. Lebel added that “a technically flexible, performance-based EOBR standard, combined with a suitable phase-in period would hopefully allow sufficient time for suppliers to offer cost-effective options meeting the needs of carriers and drivers”.
CTA president, David Bradley, agrees with this statement adding, “While we understand that there is a minority in the industry who may oppose an EOBR mandate, it’s important that decision makers hear from those who have experience with EOBRs in enhancing compliance and making highways safer.”
“Our efforts show that there are many carriers and drivers who are clearly in favour of replacing outdated paper logbooks with more efficient and compliant electronic monitoring devices,”
—David Bradley, President, Canadian Trucking Alliance
Transport Canada supports the development of an EOBR standard that leverages the work done in the United States. It is in favour of a harmonized North American standard that Transport Canada states, “Ultimately, a harmonized North American standard would be ideal in consideration of the importance of domestic and cross-border trade.”
Meanwhile in the United States, the American Truckers’ Association (ATA) and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) are squaring off about mandated HOS solutions. The ATA maintains that EOBRs make roads safer and drivers more accountable, while the OOIDA counters that it poses an infringement of drivers’ rights and is prohibitively expensive for smaller independent trucking companies.
“Clearly, these devices lead to greater compliance with maximum driving limits, which is very good for the trucking industry as a whole and highway safety.”
— Bill Graves, President and CEO, American Truckers’ Association