CAM Mover's Edge, February, 2012

DOT Issues Final Ruling Banning Cell Phone Use by CMV Drivers

A new FMCSA rule that took effect one week ago today restricts the use of hand-held mobile telephones by interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The rule prohibits CMV drivers from holding, dialing, or reaching for a hand-held cellular phone. This includes all push-to-talk functions.

Hands-free use of a cellular phone is allowed. The ban does not prohibit or restrict the use of CB radios, GPS or fleet management systems. The final rule also allows a CMV driver to use a hand-held or hands-free cellular phone when necessary to communicate with law enforcement officials or other emergency services for such purposes as reporting an accident or a drunken driver.

A driver is allowed to initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button on a mobile telephone or on a headset. This action should not require the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. Reaching for cellular phones or a hands-free device that is done in “an unacceptable manner” is banned under this new rule. Examples of this behavior would be reaching for a cellular phone on a passenger seat, under the driver's seat, or into the sleeper berth. To be in compliance with the rule, a driver must have a cellular phone and/or hands-free device within "close proximity" to his or her person while he/she is in the normal seated position with the seat belt on.

Under this new rule, CMV drivers convicted of a hand-held cell violation twice within a three-year period would have their CDL disqualified for 60 days. If convicted for a third violation within three years, the driver would lose his CDL for 120 days. Drivers of CMVs would also be subject to federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.

FMCSA interprets the regulatory language in this new rule to mean that motor carriers are responsible for the actions of their drivers, regardless of whether or not such actions are sanctioned by the motor carrier. FMCSA will hold employers/carriers accountable if the employee/contractor was carrying out company business or otherwise acting on the carrier's behalf when the violation occurs. Motor carriers that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while operating a CMV would face a maximum civil penalty of $11,000 per violation.

Article courtesy of AMSA

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Ontario Regulation 429/07 came into effect January 1, 2012. The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service is a regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, 2005 (AODA).

Starting January 1, 2012, accessible customer service came into effect for all Ontario businesses and organizations. This includes consultants, manufacturers and wholesalers as well as other businesses and professional services.

It applies to all organizations (public, private and non-profit) that provide goods or services either directly to the public or to other organizations in Ontario and that have one or more employees in Ontario.

By definition, a customer is any person including a person with a disability who can come into contact or require your goods and /or services. This will virtually affect all Ontario businesses including construction.

By January 1, 2012, organizations are obligated to:

  1. Develop and put in place a plan that outlines how you will provide goods or services to people with disabilities. This means developing policies and procedures outlining the provisions of goods and services to individuals with disabilities.

Create and put in place an accessibility plan that:

  • Considers a person’s disability when communicating with them;
  • Allows assistive devices in the workplace. For example, wheelchairs, walkers and oxygen tanks;
  • Allows service animals;
  • Welcomes support persons;
  • Lets customers know when accessible services are not available;
  • Invites feedback.
  1. Provide training to all employees who interact with the public on the provision of goods or services.

In addition, organizations with 20 or more employees are also required to:

  1. Inform customers that Customer Service Standard Policy is available on request and;
  2. Report compliance to the Ministry of Community and Social Services by December 31, 2012.

For non-compliant organizations, fines are imposed under section 37 (5) of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, 2005. Fines range from $200 as an administrative penalty to as much as $50,000 to $100,000 per day for non-compliance.

In addition to the Customer Service Standards, the new Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation sets out further requirements in the areas of transportation, employment, information and communications established for organizations operating with 50 or more employees with compliance dates starting on January 1, 2012, and ending in 2021.

CAM's Identification Program

Decals for movers, international movers and suppliers are available from CAM for $5 per pair, including shipping and taxes (in English and French). The decals are printed two-up on letter-size material. They are suitable for use on vehicles and identify you to the consumer as a CAM member and reputable company.

Employment

New job opportunities have been posted to the website .

CAM's Annual Conference Questionnaire

Thank you for your responses to the questionnaire that was circulated two weeks ago. The results will be communicated to members once the conference committee has had an opportunity to review them.

Licensing of Movers

The licensing of movers in the Greater Toronto Area remains on the agenda of the City of Toronto. CAM representatives are currently working on the issue with the City and the Province of Ontario.

IF YOU HAVE NEWS THAT CANADA’S MOVING INDUSTRY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT, please let CAM know and we will include it in upcoming issues of this newsletter.