Mandatory commercial driver training coming to Saskatchewan

by Truck West

REGINA, Sask. – With the announcement of a mandatory entry-level driver training program to be in place by 2019, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) is applauding the move.

“The announcement today is about safety and definitely is the right direction to head for Saskatchewan,” Susan Ewart, executive director of the STA, told Truck West following the news. “Mandatory training creates a standardized formal education for those wanting to be a professional truck driver and MELT (mandatory entry-level training) forms part of the bigger picture that truck driving is a skilled profession and needs to be looked at as such.”

In the wake of the tragic collision involving the Humboldt Broncos bus and a tractor-trailer, several provinces have been looking more closely at programs that would mandate entry-level training for commercial drivers.

Trucking associations across the country, including the Canadian Trucking Alliance, have been advocating for the training for some time.

Ewart said it is too soon to speculate on what exactly the province’s program will look like, but said Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) will be working on a curriculum.

“Ontario has done a lot of great work on their program and it is being looked at closely to see how we can adopt it to Saskatchewan,” she said “Over the next few weeks, SGI will be working with its stakeholders to flush out the curriculum.

“This is great news for safety on not only Saskatchewan roads but all across the country.”

Manitoba also announced that it will be looking at implementing an entry-level driver training program in the near future. Alberta has also indicated that it is looking at a similar measure.

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  • The training and ad hoc solutions to enticing people into this industry is abhorrent and its shameful that it took a disaster of this scale to get any changes. Trucking needs to be recognized as a trade with a formalized apprenticeship training system, employment standards that are the same as every other Canadian receives, and a pay scale that is appropriate for the work. Outside of the few employers that train drivers properly the entire industry is to blame for situations like the recent tragedy in Saskatchewan.

  • If drivers don’t obey traffic signs, all the education in the world will not stop tragedies such as the Humboldt Bus calamity.

  • Things sure have changed since the 1950s and 1960s. When I first started trucking I had to have 2 years driving a straight truck before being allowed to drive a semi and then I had to work in the city before I was allowed on the highway. Today drivers pay someone to let them train to drive a empty semi and give them a paper saying they are qualified. The result is multiple truck accidents on highways.

  • I have been involved in the trucking industry for 50 years-Professional driver-driver training-Truck sales-Commercial Accident Investigation-Fleet Management. Why has it taken 50 years and many fatalities to awaken our Provinces to upgrade training, and classify Professional driving as a “TRADE” ? ——– John Wihksen,North Vancouver,BC.