Trucking industry group renews call for electronic log books Feb01

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Trucking industry group renews call for electronic log books

This week saw a Melfort courtroom learn that the truck driver responsible for the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy had made a total of 70 log book infractions in the days leading up to the deadly crash.

The information presented during the sentencing hearing for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu has led the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) to once again call for regulators to phase out paper-and-pen log books in favor of electronic logging devices.

“The companies that we represent, a lot of them already have (electronic logging devices) installed in their fleets and the drivers like them, so it’s working well,” STA executive director Susan Ewart said.

Truckers are required to keep log books detailing information like how long they work on a given day and where they stop.

“There’s a small minority of truck drivers that don’t complete the log books properly and they’re not following the proper regulations,” Ewart said, noting it was also up to employers to work with their drivers on properly maintaining records.

She said electronic systems would be more reliable and eliminate opportunities for cheating.

“The electronic logging devices would take away, sort of, that pen-and-paper issue. Someone wouldn’t be able to keep two books, right? You’re not allowed to do that,” she said.

Ewart said trucking associations across the country have also spent years asking federal and provincial regulators for more inspections and more enforcement on the highways to weed out companies that aren’t operating safely.

“Increased enforcement and oversight to ensure that carriers are following the regulations that are set out and that there are financial penalties for those that are not.”

Ewart said federal regulations allow commercial truckers to be on duty for 14 hours in a given day, with 13 hours of that allowed to be driving time.

Sidhu pleaded guilty on Jan. 8 to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing injury. His sentencing hearing is expected to conclude this week in Melfort.

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