Where do I start? I guess I have to start somewhere because nobody else seems to want to start. Doesn’t anyone care anymore? We all want to complain when someone gets hurt or killed, but what next?
Nobody seems to have any follow-through. They start something like a petition and then expect someone else to continue carrying the torch.
There are drivers out there killing people, due to the lack of experience or lack of training, and nothing seems to get done about it. Do these innocent people deserve to die before their time? No they don’t.
This article is dedicated to all the people who have lost their lives or have been injured by untrained or unskilled truck drivers that we put on the road. Yes, you heard me, “we.”We tolerate and allow many garbage schools to operate.
Many carriers stop the unqualified drivers at the door. Unfortunately, there are many other carriers that don’t, and they encourage bad drivers to continue.
Over 350 unregistered, unskilled and uncaring schools operate from their basements or the trunks of their cars.
They accept money from assistance programs and scam vulnerable people out of their money. This money and opportunity should have gone to the true drivers that wanted into this industry for all the right reasons.
The most recent decision I am hearing now is that the Minister of Education is requesting a Grade 10 level or equivalency before students can enter a truck training school. This is not the solution to the problem, it is just another money grab for the government, as is re-qualifying 65-year-old drivers with air brake tests and road tests.
If government wants to do the
right thing, conduct these types of tests at the beginning and every five years after that for all commercial motor vehicle drivers. The problem is not the level of education, the problem is the attitude towards the industry and the lack of driving skills brought to our roads by today’s truck driver.
The ability to drive safely on our roads and highways should be our number one concern -not a grade 10 education.
What about the drivers that come over from Europe or other countries who had nothing but the desire to provide a good life for their family? They don’t have Grade 10 but they do have the will to learn and the desire to contribute.
They pay their bills, send their kids to school, pay taxes and fall in love with this great country of ours. All we are doing is restricting them of these opportunities.
We have schools out there that are doing everything they possibly can to support a better industry and a more qualified driver.
There are many schools out there that are doing a great job and I enjoy working with each and every one of them.
They work so hard in helping their students find jobs in the trucking industry and teaching students to use what they have learned to better this industry.
A list of accredited schools can be found on the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Web site (www.ttsao.com). They provide a curriculum which is approved by the Ministry of Transportation and make it easier for the new driver to enter the industry.
The TTSAO would like to encourage the MTO and MTCU to follow the federal regulations in the US, which makes training at an accredited school mandatory prior to obtaining a commercial driver’s licence.
I want to leave you with a thought. Many people have died or have been seriously injured by untrained, unskilled and uncaring truck drivers.
Does it take a member of your own family to lose their life by the careless acts of these drivers before enough is enough?
If you are like me, and many others, including the truck training schools that are fighting against all the odds, we can help them by just saying “no.”
We must say “no” when they try to enter our industry and “no” to unprofessional attitudes. Life is very precious.
Let me say that there are more good drivers out there than bad and I compliment their work and passion for this industry. I send my heartfelt sorrow to all the people who have lost a loved one and hope this article will raise some awareness and action.
– David Brown is the recruiting manager for the Rosedale Group. He is also the president of Carriers Coach Solutions helping new drivers make their way into the industry. You can reach him by visiting www.rosedale.ca or www.carrierscoach.com.
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