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Sentencing for truck driver in Humboldt case set for March 22

MELFORT, Sask. – Sentencing for the truck driver involved in the Humboldt collision will be March 22 after the Crown and defense have issued their final submissions.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu spoke in court Jan. 31, with media reports indicating he told the families he takes full responsibility for the incident, saying his lack of experience led to the tragedy.

Sidhu’s lawyer said in court that his client did not register the four highway signs and stop sign at the intersection because of a loose tarp that was flapping on one of his trailers. Sidhu had pulled over to try and fix the loose tarp just prior to the bus collision.

Sidhu pleaded guilty to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

The prosecutor in the case is seeking a 10-year prison sentence, which would be followed by a 10-year driving prohibition. The prosecutor indicated that Sidhu will be deported after he serves his prison term.

CTA reaction

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said it stood with the victims’ families, who called for more oversight and enforcement of the industry during their statements in court.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Sidhu had committed 70 violations leading up to the collision with the Humboldt Broncos team bus, most for HOS irregularities. The CTA said it has been asked repeatedly by media if this is normal for a single operator, to which they answered “no.”

The alliance did say, however, that there are a small percentage of carriers that lack appropriate safety management policies, thorough training, and oversight of drivers – something the CTA says needs to change.

In the wake of the recent announcement of a national MELT program by 2020, the CTA said there also needs to be tamper-proof, third-party certified ELDs to bring an end to the type of HOS abuse that was revealed in the Humboldt case.

The CTA is calling for strict enforcement of all ELDs in commercial trucks no later than one year after the Canadian ELD rule is published, which is expected this spring.

The alliance pointed out that according to Transport Canada, 20% of all collisions are caused by fatigue for both truck and passenger vehicle drivers. The CTA said there are approximately 9,400 HOS-related incidents per year in Canada, and tamper-proof, certified ELDs will significantly improve compliance.

“It is the responsibility of all trucking companies operating in Canada to keep the public safe and to achieve compliance by employing and properly supervising only well-trained, professional drivers who fully understand the rules of the road,” read the CTA’s statement. “CTA will therefore be closely following the upcoming trial of the trucking company owner involved in the Humboldt Broncos case.”

Sukhinder Singh, the owner the trucking company Sidhu drove for, Adesh Deol Trucking, is charged with eight counts of non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations.

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3 Comments » for Sentencing for truck driver in Humboldt case set for March 22
  1. Brian Cummings says:

    Bring in more non experienced , non English, non French , speaking people and stick them in trucks with 125 hours of driving in a course , Using tractor and empty trailers Give them a certificate and a Kick in the Ass and tell them to do a great job..

  2. Archie Kittler says:

    Bus drivers also need to know what defensive driving is all about.
    Had he been paying attention to the road he could of helped minimize the accident and death toll. Ride a motor cycle for awhile and one will learn very fast what
    defensive driving means.
    Let’s not pick only on truck drivers there is also a lot of idiot car drivers also on the road and we the truck drivers have to content with them also

  3. David Allan says:

    I have a doubt we all have worked with people that have had less experience then stated on their Resumes . Most of this industry is what you call questionable in the way they do business. This will never change only the names of the people involved in this accidents. With that I feel all of us hope we never end up facing charges from doing our jobs. Most of what we see now a days is what you call a bottom as if the wages will ever change ,no one can live on min wage forever.

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