Petition seeking stricter driver training regulations closes May 14

by Truck News-West

EDMONTON, Alta. – The petition calling for changes to how commercial truck drivers are trained and the industry regulated closes May 14, the first day of Canada Road Safety Week.

Launched by Pattie Fair of Alix, Alta., a year-and-a-half ago, the petition has gained support from those impacted by the Humboldt tragedy.

Carol and Lyle Brons are the parents of athletic therapist Dayna Brons, who died as a result of the Humboldt Broncos team bus collision with a semi-truck.

Lyle, a former commercial driver, said prior to Saskatchewan implementing mandatory entry-level training (MELT) for drivers, it was easy to acquire a Class 1 licence in the province.

“We’ve heard that many trucking industry associations have been requesting more government oversight of the industry for the past decade,” Lyle said. “We commend those groups of responsible, skilled drivers and operators for advocating for safer roadways.”

“We wish more than anything that it didn’t have to take the deaths of 16 Broncos players and staff, and life-changing emotional and physical injuries to the 13 survivors, before the federal government took notice and announced it would look at implementing nationwide MELT legislation by January 2020,” Carol added. “We miss Dayna every day, and it pains us knowing that this tragedy could have been prevented had there been more regulations in place to ensure Class 1 drivers are properly trained and monitored.”

Chris Joseph, father of Broncos player Jaxon Joseph, also supports the effort to bring about change.

“We cannot allow more innocent lives to be lost at the hands of ill-prepared commercial drivers,” said Chris, an Edmonton firefighter and former NHL player. “While the MELT legislation introduced in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba is a good start, we need a national standard that also includes graduated licensing to allow drivers to gain more experience and skill to prepare them for driving larger, heavier and more complex vehicles in a variety of seasons and changing road conditions.”

Fair started the petition calling for stricter regulations and improved training after her husband, a truck driver, was killed in a head-on collision with another semi-truck near Revelstoke, B.C. March 13, 2017.

With more than 7,000 signatures, the petition calls for the Class 1 licensing process to be considered a nation-wide skilled trade; the National Occupational Classification Code to be modified to provide funding for training; the implementation of MELT; and to require licensing bodies to collect and store information on training providers and each commercial driver.

“Petition E-2005 addresses a lot of problems currently in the industry, where some operators are not taking the time to train up and mentor new drivers,” said Ahmed Shalaby, professor and municipal infrastructure chairman for the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba. “It’s also important that commercial driver training schools are monitored and held accountable based on their graduates’ driving records. The points addressed in the petition support and protect both Class 1 drivers and all other drivers sharing the roads with them.”

Canada Road Safety Week runs from May 14-20.

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  • I have long maintained that driving truck should be elevated to a “Registered Trade” as are many other jobs/professions that are performed on a daily basis.
    Coupled with a graduated “Operators Licence”. Where as we would be trained and licensed for different types of equipment/loads that are encountered.

    This would go a long way to improving safety, professionalism and wages for an industry that I have always loved and have been proud to perform for the past forty odd years.

  • I fully support improved training for drivers, MELT in Ontario though in my opinion has been a great platform for a lot of back slapping and award issuing. Don’t get me wrong I fully support it has however been a two edged sword. Training was reduced in Ontario from 200 hour minimum offered by the Private career colleges to Just 103.5! yes we got rid of some bad training schools but cut our training almost in half ! latest figures show 96 truck drivers were killed on Ontario roads in 2017. a total of 483 people were killed on Ontario roads in 2017 (figures from Ontario road safety annual report) lets put that into perspective for a second. two aircraft go down killing 346 people that aircraft is now grounded worldwide! Where drivers are concerned we react to a greater loss of life by reducing one group of drivers training by almost half and make no recommendations for the other groups to have mandatory training and if they have any training just 10 hours in car training is the minimum requirement . If our leaders and Politian’s are really genuine in wanting safer roads…. Start leading making some decisions that maybe unpopular. Lets not sit back and just wait for self driving vehicles to solve the problem. Well for what its worth that’s some of my thoughts . Discuss…….

  • I don’t care what all these so called Governmment Experts say, ALL BUSES shoould have seat belts just like all CARS and LARGE COMMERCIALTRUCKS.

    Why is it our children who are the most preciuos cargo of all are not required to have seat belts when travelling on buses???

  • I too would like the laws changed for trucks. On Nov.21/18 my son was rear ended by a fuel truck. The driver did not have a proper license for that type of truck.
    My son has been in daily pain since, from his neck to his hips and now problems with his knees. He has been on pain killers, muscle relaxants and goes to physiotherapy twice a week.
    I am grateful he is still with us, but still very upset that this could happen. It would seem if the trucking industry was more regulated this would never have happened to us. I am sure other families have similar stories to tell.
    The government does need to step up and soon.

  • As a driver of trucks for 45+ years , I believe it is high time changes come to driver training and regulations to make it mandatory for drivers to go through more stringent examination before going out on the road.
    I also feel that companies who put people to work who haven’t been properly trained should be held accountable for accidents that happen because of improper training.

    In the case of the Broncos crash the company should be held to account by stopping the business for a lengthy time.

  • On Thursday May 9th driving from Calgary to Strathmore within driving 15 kilometres the following happen

    A semi truck was coming off #9 onto #1 and going too fast and came into part of our lane and we pulled over to the shoulder then another

    A truck pulled out of the Lyalta road on to #1 hwy shoulder way to big to pull out and the vehicle had to stop as we were right beside her she had no where to go
    Just going through Strathmore they rarely go speed limit of 60
    I totally agree they should have a lot more training and respect other drivers. Being so big they feel they own the road

  • We live in Carstairs Alberta and have concerns about changing the tractor trailer driver training. We have a large farm community around and I am sorry to say there is a disregard for other people on the roads around our community.
    We have a grain terminal south of Carstairs and it is used regularly by our farmers with their trains and trucks. There are some that seem to think they don’t need to signal or stop at the stop sign. Numerous times we have been and seen others cut off at this terminal by trucks entering traffic. They do not stop and wait for traffic. They pull out and force other drivers on the road to slow down to allow them to get their speed up after they pulled into traffic without waiting for a clean and safe entrance.
    This also happens continually at the intersection of highway 580 and 2A.
    By changing the rules for them for training you are telling the farmers that they have priority and the rest of us on the road don’t matter. The farmers are not just driving in their fields and to the grain elevators. They are also hauling hay all over the country using those same trucks. So how are they any different than a commercial driver who has to go through the training to basically do the same job.
    Spend time in the rural communities and you will see the traffic infractions by our farmers.
    I am saddened by their behaviour as they are a part of our community but have no regard for us when they get behind the wheel of their trucks.