THE CANADIAN trucking industry recognizes serious flaws in its hours-of-service law, although it is one of few regulations that is in place and has "more or less" been adopted by the provinces, said Barrie Montague of the Ontario, Canada, Trucking Association.
Montague discussed Canadian transportation during the National Tank Truck Carriers Safety Council seminar April 13-15 in St Petersburg, Florida.
Until now, the Canadian federal government has exercised little control over trucking, he added. However, with the introduction of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian traffic has increased from traffic flowing both into and from the United States. The increased traffic has prompted new hours-of-service considerations. Before the agreement, Canadian carrier traffic flowed predominantly east-west. Today, the north-south traffic has added to the count and the east-west traffic has decreased.
Referring to local transportation control, he noted that Canadian provinces exercise more authority over the industry than federal offices. Nationwide, a National Safety Code is in effect and carriers are asked to comply with it, but little law enforcement is applied.
On the other hand, the country's immigration policy isn't likely to be enforced with US carriers that violate Canadian hauling permit rules. A driver who is found to be illegally hauling a product within Canada might be cited or not, depending on the individual immigration officer and the attitude of the truck driver, he said.
At the same time, laws pertaining to drivers who have criminal offenses will be enforced.
Another rule that is enforced by Canadian authorities pertains to wheel separations. Any indication of a serious wheel problem that might lead to separation will receive zero tolerance by Canadian inspectors, he added.
Montague said a carrier profile rule that includes a carrier safety rating is in the process of being amended. The goal is to have one rule that is accepted by all provinces. The process should be completed by the end of this year, he said.