Saskatchewan’s mandatory driver training begins March 15

February 2019

Land Line Staff

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Starting in the spring, applicants seeking a Class 1 commercial license in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan will be required to undergo at least 121.5 hours of training.

The government of Saskatchewan announced it would adopt mandatory entry-level training for commercial drivers. The new training requirements go into effect March 15.

“Saskatchewan has been working to improve standards for training curriculum and driver testing for semi drivers since mid-2017,” minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance Joe Hargrave said in a news release. “Our ongoing consultations with other provinces have helped address gaps and inconsistencies when commercial drivers cross provincial borders. Stronger training requirements in Saskatchewan and across Canada will help make our province’s and our nation’s roads safer.”

According to the news release, the new curriculum will include instruction in a classroom, in the yard, and behind the wheel. Training will focus on priority curriculum areas, including basic driving techniques, professional driving habits, vehicle inspections and air brakes. Driver’s tests will be aligned to the curriculum. Training schools will receive instruction and training on the new curriculum and trainers will be “held to higher standards,” according to the news release.

As part of the new training requirements, all Class 1 road tests will be undertaken with SGI examiners only. Existing Class 1 drivers will be grandfathered in as of March 15.

The release notes that the driver training proposal has the support of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association.

“The industry is on board with strengthened training requirements,” STA executive director Susan Ewart said in the news release. “Commercial drivers play a critical role delivering goods that keep our economy moving. Our industry also has a responsibility to make sure commercial semi drivers have the knowledge and skills to do their job ensuring the safety of everyone on the road.”

In 2016, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce and implement mandatory entry-level driver training standards for commercial vehicle drivers. LL