The head of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance says enforcing the new hours of service rules will be a “Herculean effort.”
CVSA is an alliance of truck enforcement agencies and safety stakeholders from all levels of government Canada, the U.S. and Mexico responsible for establishing out-of-service criteria and promoting commercial motor vehicle safety and security.
Stephen Keppler, executive director of the CVSA, told Transport Topics that some of the new rules present problems for those tasked with enforcing them.
A handful of changes are scheduled to take effect on Feb. 27, including fines for egregious violations ($2700 for drivers and $11,000 for carriers, for each offence) and new definitions of what constitutes off-duty periods versus sleep berth periods. (Excluded from on-duty time is any time resting in a parked commercial vehicle or up to two hours in the passenger seat immediately before or after eight hours in the sleeper berth – click here for more details).
More sweeping changes affecting the 34-hour restart and mandatory rest periods will not be enforced until July 2013.
Keppler says the more prescriptive rule presents potential for falsification in an industry that is still overwhelmingly based on paper log record-keeping — which, he adds, is all the more reason for regulators to make electronic on-board recorders mandatory for commercial trucks.
A transportation reauthorization bill currently moving through the U.S. Senate would require EOBRs.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance also supports EOBRs on all trucks where drivers are required to maintain a logbook. Policy makers in this country are reviewing the framework for such a rule.