BANFF, Alta. – Alberta’s Ministry of Transportation has been keeping itself busy trying to make life better for the trucking industry.
Shaun Hammond, assistant deputy minister of Alberta Transportation, outlined the efforts his department has been working on, including the newly-implemented Carrier Intervention and Discipline Policy.
Enacted March 1, the policy, which places the onus on a carrier to prove to the government it is being compliant – known as a “reverse onus” policy – has resulted in 57 carrier Safety Fitness Certificates (SFC) being suspended, eight being cancelled altogether.
Hammond said carriers that cannot prove they are compliant will be given 90 days to 15 months (depending on fleet size) to become compliant, and no extensions or excuses will be accepted, to which a room of Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) Leadership Conference and AGM attendees applauded.
Hammond also broke the news that a pair of “proper safety rest areas” will be constructed to the north and south of Red Deer, Alta., starting this year.
Discussions have continued as well on the implementation of a mandatory entry-level driver training program in Alberta, with Alberta Transportation looking to stakeholder input to help prepare a comprehensive package outlining various driver training options to be considered.
Hammond added that Saskatchewan is looking to move quickly on a mandatory entry-level training (MELT) program, but the primary issue will be harmonization between all the provinces.
External activities Alberta Transportation is working on include two initiatives – trucking harmonization and vulnerable road users.
The first surveyed major stakeholders to consider potential policy shifts for the industry. Results of the survey will be released in the near future.
Vulnerable road users looked at heavy truck incident and issues, with research on best practices. Analysis is underway which will lead to a report to ministers.
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