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Canadas Take on Hours of Service

In late December, three major Canadian transportation organizations announced agreement on modifications in the country’s existing drivers Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. Transport Canada, Teamsters Canada and the Canadian Trucking Alliance are in accord on proposed new regulations that will limit drivers of commercial vehicles to 13 hours of driving and 14 hours on-duty per 24-hour period.

The new rules include a 25% increase in off-duty time during a 24-hour period, from eight to 10 hours. On-duty times have been reduced 12%, from 16 to 14 hours, and rules lower the maximum daily driving time for drivers by 19%, from 16 to 13 hours during each 24-hour period.

Canada’s Transport Minister, Jean-C. Lapierre, notes that, “The proposed regulatory changes are the product of long consultation and compromise with industry, the provinces and territories, and others, including Teamsters Canada, but the bottom line is the changes will make our roads and highways even safer than they are today.”

Robert Bouvier, Teamsters Canada President, agrees, saying, “The increase of the rest period and the reduction of the on-duty times, the key element of this agreement, represent the basis of a safe and responsible regulatory framework.”

CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, David Bradly, says, “All concerned groups have worked hard to come up with a proposal that improves safety without creating undue disadvantages for the trucking industry.”

This agreement is a major step toward finalizing the hours of service regulations for Canada that were first published in the Canada Gazette in February 2003. Subsequent to being proposed in the Gazette, Transport Canada received more than 50 comments and continues to review these submissions.

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