December 21, 2004

Consensus reached on hours of work for truckers

Ottawa, Ontario – Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre today announced that a consensus has been reached among key players in the Canadian trucking industry on safety rules for inter-provincial commercial vehicle operations.

Transport Canada, Teamsters Canada and the Canadian Trucking Alliance have agreed to support a package of proposed rules that would limit commercial vehicle drivers to 13 hours of driving and 14 hours on duty per 24-hour period.

“As Minister of Transport, I am committed to the safety of Canadian commercial drivers and other users of our highway and road systems,” said Mr. Lapierre. “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. Development of the proposed changes has been led by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.”

“The goal of Teamsters Canada has always been to preserve the working conditions and the quality of life of truck drivers,” said Robert Bouvier, President of Teamsters Canada. “The agreement reached in October 2001 with the trucking industry protects both the drivers and the highway users by improving safety and truck drivers’ working conditions. The increase of the rest period and the reduction of the on-duty time, the key element of this agreement, represent the basis of a safe and responsible regulatory framework.”

“All concerned groups have worked hard to come up with a proposal that improves safety without creating undue disadvantages for the trucking industry,” said Canadian Trucking Alliance chief executive officer David Bradley. “We support the new proposed limitations on driving and working hours for truckers and the need to support them when they are brought into force.”

The proposed new regulations on drivers’ hours of service were published in the Canada Gazette Part I in February 2003 as part of the federal government consultation process. Transport Minister Lapierre and Transport Canada recently intensified discussions on this new package of regulations in order to achieve a consensus among key concerned parties about their content and application.

The new rules will increase minimum off-duty time over a 24-hour period by 25 per cent from eight hours to 10 hours, therefore providing significantly more opportunity for drivers to rest. The new rules will reduce on-duty time by 12 per cent from 16 hours to 14 hours and will also reduce the maximum daily driving time for truckers by 19 per cent from 16 hours to 13 hours in a 24-hour period.

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