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Alberta considers mandatory truck training for drivers
Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:02PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:41PM MDT
Nearly two weeks after the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team was involved in a crash with a semi tractor-trailer, the province is proceeding with a formal investigation to see if truck drivers here get enough training.
Adesh Deol Trucking Limited, based in Calgary, had its licence suspended following the crash that resulted in the deaths of 16 people.
There is no way of telling how much training the driver involved in the crash had behind the wheel other than he’d been driving for the company for just 15 days.
Transportation Minister Brian Mason says there are a number of investigations begin undertaken.
"We're certainly looking at that. We're looking at a number of things, whether or not training for truck drivers needs to be improved. So we've been looking at that for some time. I've also ordered a review of intersection safety on Alberta highways as well.”
Emmet Callaghan, who runs CCA truck driver training in Calgary, says there is no minimum standard for truck drivers in Alberta.
“Actually the only standard we have is the Class 1 government road test. You can take that with as much or as little training as you can to pass that test.”
He says that a minimum standard is essential to the industry, but doesn’t have any idea what that would look like.
“If you had a mandatory training level, then all companies hiring out of that pool of potential drivers would know that everyone they’re looking at would have that amount of training as a new driver.”
Callaghan believes that Ontario’s Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) could hold the answer to the standard that the province is looking for.
“It’s basically 103.5 hours of training and it’s a combination of in-cab training and in-class training. So about a 60/40 split more or less. We haven’t had any feedback on if that works or not but if you’re asking me, I think it’s a great idea.”
On top of that, he says that trucking companies also help provide a lot of the training for new drivers while they are on the job through mentoring and similar programs.
“Trucking companies themselves are the last line of defence of making sure the driver who is driving their piece of equipment has the necessary skills and experience to drive that truck safely on the highways,” he says. “At the end of the day, everybody wants a well-trained, professional driver on the road driving that equipment.”
The Alberta Motor Transport Association also says it supports standardized training and has been working with the province to find a solution since 2017.
(With files from Jordan Kanygin)