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.