The Government of Canada recently announced that it is moving forward with its mandate on the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for all federally regulated commercial truck and bus operators by June 12, 2021.

Although this means a two-year phase-in period for full compliance, Canadian commercial carriers will need to begin to fully transition to these devices as soon as possible.

An ELD is a tamper-resistant piece of hardware that is integrated into a commercial vehicle's engine by attaching to the Engine Control Module (ECM). The device can automatically collect the driver's hours of service by using both driver inputs and information collected from the ECM.

The purpose is to ensure commercial drivers are driving within their daily limits and are accurately logging their working hours behind the wheel.

The ELD stores the information in a standardized format that no one can alter. The stored information can then easily be transferred to an officer during an inspection, or can be used by police when investigating an accident.

It is hoped that mandatory use of ELDs will help ensure compliance consistency throughout North America, and should result in considerable savings to commercial carriers by reducing administrative burdens.

Eliminating the need for paper daily logs will in turn prevent errors and logbook tampering, and will reduce the time enforcement officers need to verify regulatory compliance.

Currently, commercial carriers who cross into the United States are already required to have ELDs installed pursuant to U.S. regulations. Commercial carriers in Canada that do not cross into the United States on the other hand are likely using a form of computerized logging device or perhaps old fashioned, paper logs to self-report their on-duty, off-duty and daily driving time.

Well, the days of the paper log book are quickly coming to an end. Carriers need to move now to adopt ELDs and should consider updating their company policies and procedures and be ready to provide training to employees on new considerations in order to ensure full compliance.

Rogers Partners LLP is an experienced civil litigation firm in Toronto, Ontario. The firm represents insurers and self-insured companies in numerous areas, including motor vehicle negligence, occupiers' liability, product liability, professional negligence, construction claims, statutory accident benefits, disability benefits, municipal liability, medical negligence, sexual abuse, and insurance coverage disputes.

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