Canada Needs to Resolve Standards, Data Inconsistencies with US
Oct 25, 2001 12:00 PM
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is asking federal transport minister, David Collenette, his provincial colleagues and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators to resolve some of the longstanding consistency and database concerns on a host of safety and technical matters, in the wake of the September 11th attacks. In a letter to Mr. Collenette and to Darren Christle, chair of the CCMTA’s Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Committee, CTA’s CEO, David Bradley, said that “while the irritants stemming from the ongoing lack of compatibility and consistency in Canadian trucking safety and technical standards, seem mundane and insignificant in comparison to the murderous events of September 11th and their aftermath, such irritants and incompatibilities, could take on great significance in the new reality.
Bradley pointed out that “in recent weeks, some Canadian truck drivers have been detained and/or charged for such things as having one name on their citizenship cards and another on their commercial driver’s license. It has been reported to us that Canadian truck drivers whose first language is not English have been fined by state troopers for not meeting the requirement of US law which states that drivers must be able to speak English well enough to be understood by a police officer. These are irritants which left unchecked could become major problems in today’s high security environment.”
Perhaps of more concern, according to Bradley, are “ongoing problems like the lack of a national carrier safety ratings system and database. The line, if it exists at all, between safety and security, is very thin. How long before the US regulators raise concerns about many of these same matters and imperil the reciprocal nature of our regulatory systems? We are not suggesting that our rules need to be the same as the Americans. But, they do need to be compatible, and the monitoring systems and data have to be in place nationally.”