TORONTO, Ont. — Ontario is set to introduce mandatory training for entry-level drivers after a Toronto Star series of articles highlighted just how easy it is to obtain an A/Z licence in the province.
The articles impressed upon the public that shoddy training schools continue to operate and because they charge less than $1,000, they fly unregulated below the radar. Kim Richardson, president of KRTS Transportation Specialists, was among the critics quotes in the series.
The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA), which has been lobbying for mandatory training for entry-level drivers for quite some time, lauded the announcement, referring to it as a “watershed moment for the trucking industry.”
David Bradley, president of the OTA, said: “The mere fact that someone holds a Class A licence does not ensure that person has the skills to be a safe and productive transport driver. Even an improved test will never fully determine a new driver’s skill level. Mandatory entry level training will at least assure trucking companies that when they hire a new driver, he or she has some basic level of skill that with additional training and experience can eventually lead to that person becoming a fully qualified professional driver.”
Transport Minister Steven Del Duca told the Star “We are going to go forward (with mandatory entry-level training). We’re going to move as quickly as we can but we want to make sure that we get it right.” He added he believes “it should take place as quickly as possible, but in a manner that actually produces the end result that we all want, which is the safest roads in North America, which is part of my responsibility.”
Bradley said OTA would like to see drivers complete training to an industry-developed standard before they can take the licensing test.
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