BC Flooding Exemptions & Adverse Driving Conditions

As you may know, BC has been experiencing major and severe weather conditions over the past 2 weeks – and this has led to significant damages to transport routes and infrastructure.

We will share details from an update that the British Columbia Transport Association (BCTA) has shared, as well as how you may be able to use the Adverse Driving Conditions exemption for an extra 2 hours per day.

*While we will try to keep this resource up to date, you can find real-time announcements at https://drivebc.ca.

BCTA Update

Highway 3, 7, 99

Essential Travel / Movement of Goods Only

Highway 3, which was previously closed due to the mudslides, has been reopened. However, along with Highway 7 and 99, it is only open for essential travel and movement of goods (more details below).

There will be checkpoints that will reinforce these rules as per the Travel Restriction Order.

Weight limits for Highway 99

Highway 99 travel is limited to commercial vehicles up to 14,500 kilograms.

Highway 1 & 5

Remain closed

Seaspan & BC Ferries

If your carrier is supporting relief efforts, follow these steps:

  • Seaspan: Notify the Seaspan Ferries that the goods being transported are for “Emergency Relief Efforts” – this will allow you to be considered a high priority move.
  • BC Ferries: Email Key.accounts@bcferries.com with the subject line “Emergency Response (Insert Company Name), the route, date and time you are seeking the reservation.”

Want to work with safety & compliance experts? Check out our friends over at Frontline Safety & Compliance, who help fleets across North America offload tedious processes/paperwork and driver management.


Emergency Protocols

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) shared an announcement outlining the emergency protocols that should be followed. You can find the announcement here.

Please review it in detail for any protocols that may apply to your fleet.

Hours of Service Exemptions

From November 19 to January 31, 2022 (unless changes are announced), carriers and drivers who are employed for, or assist in, the transport of essential supplies and equipment for the emergency relief efforts in response to flooding in British Columbia, are exempt from the provisions set out in sections 12-29 of the hours of service regulations. This is subject to the conditions outlined below.

Conditions

Before beginning the trip, you must: 

(a) notify in writing the provincial HOS director of the base jurisdiction that you intend to operate under this exemption

(b) provide to the provincial HOS director of the base jurisdiction the following:

  1. the commercial vehicles that are to be operated;
  2. the licence plate numbers of those vehicles and the province of issuance;
  3. the names of drivers who will operate the commercial vehicles; and;
  4. the drivers’ driving licence numbers and province of issuance.

While operating under this exemption, you must:

a) share any updates to the list above with the provincial HOS director, such that they may accurately and quickly identify the commercial vehicles or the drivers. These changes are to be reported by means of weekly reports;

b) ensure that your driver(s) records and keeps their hours of service duty statuses in a complete and accurate manner as per usual ELD rules.

c) hold a valid safety fitness certificate that has not been assigned a Conditional or Unsatisfactory Safety Rating.

d) not use a commercial vehicle or driver that is subject to an out-of-service declaration;

 e) ensure a copy of the exemption is included in the commercial vehicles that are operated in accordance with this exemption;

 f) encourage shippers to indicate on the bill of lading that the supplies and equipment being transported are in direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts during the flooding in BC;

g) keep at your principal place of business a copy of the exemption as well as daily logs and other supporting documents that demonstrate compliance with the conditions of this exemption.If an inspector or provincial hours of service director requests these documents, they must be made available immediately.

h) ensure compliance with the conditions of this exemption and remediate as soon as you notice non-compliant behavior. Any remedial actions you take should be documented, including the results.

i) not allow drivers to operate if they are impaired by fatigue to the point where it is unsafe for them to drive

j) allow drivers who request a rest-break to take at least 10-consecutive hours of off-duty time before having to report again to the home terminal.

On top of all the rules above, drivers operating under this exemption must: 

a) take a minimum of 8-consecutive hours of off duty time after the delivery of essential cargo;

b) request off-duty time from the extra-provincial truck undertaking when feeling fatigue;

c) understand that they may be the subject of a declaration of out-of-service if they are fatigued/impaired to the point that it is unsafe to drive.

 Unless the context requires otherwise, words and expressions used in this exemption have the same meaning as in section 1 of the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations

Adverse Driving Conditions Exemption

Given the situation with the flooding, this also allows you and your drivers to leverage the Adverse Driving Conditions exemption, as the current conditions are slowing down all the routes.

In case you are unfamiliar, the Adverse Driving Conditions Exemption allows you/your drivers to drive up to 2 extra hours to complete what would’ve normally been completed within the regular hours.

This reduces your daily ‘Off Duty’ requirements by 2 hours, and will increase your driving limit by an extra 2 hours.

However, you still must ensure that you/your drivers:

  • Must not exceed the 2 extra hours in the elected cycle
  • Need to still take the 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time
  • Do not use it for a trip that cannot have been completed within the regular HOS rules without the extreme weather conditions
  • Still follow the 16 hour workday limit

For more details on the hours of service rules and exemptions, read our article here.

Now, to use the adverse driving conditions exemption with Switchboard, just follow these simple steps.

Using the Adverse Driving Conditions Exemption with Switchboard

From Main Menu Screen, Click on Driver Button

Suppose you only had 02:44 min of Driving duration left and decide to enable the Adverse Driving Condition (ADC). To enable the ADC option, press the THREE DOT icon which is on the top right side.

After clicking on that icon, the app shows Menu options [Figure D]. The driver has to click on the “Adverse Road Condition” option.

By selecting that option, the ELD app will show a confirmation dialog to the driver.

If you press the “OK” button, then the ELD app shows a red bar on top of the screen which shows that you are operating under the “Adverse Driving Condition” for that day.

You can also cancel the ADC functionality. Simply click on the “Cancel” icon. The ELD app again shows a confirmation dialog to cancel the ADC.

After cancelling ADC, as you can see that the hours will be reverted back to the original driving window duration (before enabling ADC).

And that’s all there is!

If you have any questions around using the Adverse Driving Conditions or the BC flooding exemptions, reach out to us at contact@onswitchboard.com.

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