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The truck insurance industry and Ontario’s truck driver training schools have added their voices to the growing contingent of industry stakeholders who’d like to see mandatory training for entry-level drivers. Specifically, Northbridge Insurance, The Guarantee Company of North America, Old Republic Insurance of Canada and Zurich Canada have all penned letters in support of an Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) position that would require entry-level commercial drivers to complete mandatory entry-level training. This, said OTA, would help truck driving achieve recognition as a skilled occupation. The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has also added its support to the movement.

“There appears to be some traction gaining in certain provinces. While that’s a good sign, there is still a very long road ahead and major hurdles persist, which is why the training and insurance industries joining OTA on this issue is an important step,” says OTA president David Bradley. “The good news is that at the very least a dialogue is now underway.”

I’ve written quite extensively of late about the need for a minimum training standard to be established for entry-level drivers. It seems there’s growing support for a new standard, but industry has been down this road before. Is there the political will at Queen’s Park to push it through? Stay tuned.

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  • I wonder what the criteria would be for being grand fathered into a new system and what burden of proof would be put onto those drivers?

  • I have been an advacate of proper training for over 20 years. I beleive there should be a graduated licening implemented for commercial drivers that would require a number of hours or miles in each level of commercial driving to graduate up to the max weights, and length configurations. increments of at least two weights in the D class first, then into tractor trl tandems only, then tris, then quads, then double trailer or b-trains, then tripples. I believe this way drivers will be able to adapt to the weights and lengths over their experience. All too often serious accidents occure with inexperienced drivers who do not have a feel for the energy that exists in a mass weight being propelled down the road, find themselves in a situation where an evasive move would be eminent. The coupled with length is more than most inexperience drivers can handle safely. I believe this would also cause wages for drivers to increase due to the value of their graduated experience and the lack of inexperienced drivers willing to work for less, thereby making it a more attractive career choice.

  • It seems that all to often people feel that if something is wrong or inadequate the appropriate solution is to implementment a new law. More often than not there is already legislation in place which is simply not being enforced adequately. Already, most players in this system require that drivers have training and or verifiable experience prior to being employed.

    Is it ever fair or appropriate that that drivers at large suffer the result of legilation that addresses everyone for the fault of a few? Furthermore, this would burden the state with additional task of establishing training curricula and determining amounts of or length of training. Already, we have established driver training schools that are mandated to some level of control by government legislation. This would seem to be redundant to implement fully as described with mandated training.

    It would appear that a more appropriate way of dealing with the percieved lack of training would be through addressing this issue by pressuring the driving and insurance industries to step up to the plate and implement safety guidelines that probably already exist for the most part.

    The bottom line is this: 1.Why burden the driver with would surely be additional cost by modifying a training system that is already works. 2.The Carriers and Insurance Companies need to assure that training is addressed appropriately. 3.The State needs to ensure that existing laws and ordinances are implemented to provide public safety.

    There is no reason that drivers should suffer additional cost, nor the Taxpayer that would bear the cost of more legislation.