How to Navigate Progressive Enforcement of the Canadian ELD Mandate

June 10, 2021

Although the Canadian ELD mandate was first announced in June 2019, Transport Canada’s approach to mandate enforcement has evolved rapidly over the last few months. With these changes quickly occurring as the June deadline approaches, it can be challenging to understand what exactly you need to do to keep your fleet safe and compliant. 

At Samsara, we partner closely with external advisors, industry groups, and regulators to understand the latest changes and advocate on our customers’ behalf. Our ELD solution has helped thousands of fleets and their drivers maintain compliance while operating in Canada, the U.S., and during cross-border trips.

Here are three best practices to help you navigate the upcoming progressive enforcement period and beyond:

  1. Understand how the Canadian ELD mandate will be enforced: Progressive enforcement begins this year on June 12, 2021. During this period, the provinces and territories will support the mandate through “education and awareness,” meaning ELDs will be encouraged, but not required. Drivers will not be subject to penalties for operating without a certified ELD during this progressive enforcement period. Full enforcement will not start until June 12, 2022, at which point ELDs will be mandatory. 

  2. Evaluate and adopt ELDs early: Even though full enforcement won’t begin until next year, experts recommend that you start your ELD transition early. Focus on education, awareness, adoption, and training during this period.

  3. Find a partner that supports your transition strategy: Samsara can help you start preparing today. If you are an existing customer, you can activate our Canadian ELD features in Early Access on a schedule that works for you.

Understand how the Canadian ELD mandate will be enforced

When the Canadian ELD mandate was introduced in June 2019, Transport Canada announced plans for a “24-month implementation period to allow time for the certification of ELD models and their implementation by motor carriers.” This set the ELD enforcement deadline to June 2021.

Only in the last couple of months, however, with the June deadline drawing nearer, Transport Canada adjusted its approach to enforcing the mandate. In March 2021, the Minister of Transport announced that, rather than strict enforcement of the mandate with penalties come June 12, 2021, Transport Canada would work with the provinces and territories “on the successful and effective implementation of a progressive enforcement period” consisting of “education and awareness.” The Minister’s announcement explained that this progressive enforcement period, “will give sufficient time for industry to obtain and install certified ELDs without penalty as of June 12, 2021.”

On May 5, 2021, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) -- an organization made up of representatives from provincial and territorial governments as well as the federal government of Canada -- confirmed that the progressive enforcement period will last from June 12, 2021 through June 12, 2022. During the progressive enforcement period, fleets will be encouraged to use ELDs, but there will be no penalties for fleets or drivers who do not have a certified ELD during this time. Instead, enforcement officials will focus on elevated education and awareness programs. While the ELD mandate is a federal regulation, the provinces and territories are responsible for enforcing it; as stated in CCMTA’s announcement, they also plan to support this enforcement approach. 

Evaluate and adopt ELDs early   

Even though full enforcement of the Canadian ELD mandate won’t come into effect until June 2022, experts recommend that you start your ELD transition early. That’s because complying with the mandate isn’t just about procuring a device; it’s about preparing your entire organization to change your compliance workflows, which can take time and planning.

Not only will an early adoption approach help you smooth the transition for your team, but it means you can also implement new workflows that increase efficiency across your entire operation. For example, when TCI Transportation deployed the Samsara Driver App to help drivers log their Hours of Service, they were also able to implement new workflows to power contactless deliveries, helping protect their drivers from COVID-19 while improving operational efficiency.

Find a partner that supports your transition strategy

At Samsara, we are committed to providing fleets with a fully compliant solution while offering flexibility in your implementation approach. Our ELD solution has been rigorously tested and carefully designed to meet the Canadian ELD Technical Standard. Functionality specific to the Canadian ELD mandate is ready for our customers to deploy today.

If you are an existing customer, you can visit your dashboard to activate Canadian ELD features on a schedule that works for you. You won’t need new hardware, and updates will be seamlessly deployed, so you can get updates without any downtime or disruption to your operations. Since full enforcement will not come into effect until June 12, 2022, we are not requiring our customers to use mandate-specific features immediately.  

Your partner through progressive enforcement and beyond

No matter where you are in your ELD transition process, Samsara is here to help you succeed. We are continuing to work through the certification process, and we look forward to helping our customers navigate the mandate while staying safe and compliant with Transport Canada’s rules and regulations. 

If you are looking for more expert advice on how to navigate the mandate, read the best practices shared by Frontline CVS, a consultancy with over 115 years of commercial vehicle safety expertise. If you are not yet a Samsara customer, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free trial. Samsara’s experts provide tailored implementation and consulting services to help set you up for a smooth transition and ensure continued success throughout the road ahead. 

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