Alta. truckers can put in more hours than peers
The trucking industry in Alberta might be burning the midnight oil, but the province says our roads and highways are plenty safe.
When federal hours of service regulations for truckers were introduced in 2007, Alberta chose to opt out of the 13-hour daily limit and 70-hours-a-week cap for drivers staying within the province.
"It doesn't work well for a lot of industries in Alberta," said Alberta Transportation spokesman Trent Bancarz.
Those industries include oil and gas, where service companies need more flexibility on driving hours, said Bancarz.
Alberta's own trucking rules are similar to the federal ones, but allow for more driving time on a weekly basis.
"They're still very long hours that people are allowed to work," said Alison Smiley, an Ontario-based trucking safety expert.
She said drivers shouldn't be putting in extra hours.
"After eight hours, the risk of a crash doubles," said Smiley.
"With respect to truck crashes, a key issue is truck drivers' fatigue and getting enough sleep."
Alberta has considered adopting the federal regulations, but only if certain industries could be exempted.