Petition seeks national truck driver training in Canada

May 10, 2019

Chuck Robinson


Truck driver training regulations have been implemented in three Canadian provinces since the April 2018 crash in Saskatchewan involving a tractor-trailer and a bus carrying the Humbodlt Broncos junior hockey team. Even so, people signing a petition say it is not enough. There need to be nationwide regulations.

Petition E-2005 has more than 7,000 signatures so far. The petition was launched by Pattie Fair of Alie, Alberta, whose husband, a commercial truck driver, was killed in a crash near Revelstoke British Columbia, the Globe and Mirror reports.

Fair is an occupational health and safety professional and wants truck driver training to be standardized nationwide in Canada in similar manner as in her profession. She says truck driver training should include a graduated training program and training facility auditing.

The petition closes for signatures at 12:27 p.m. (EDT) on May 14.

The truck driver training petition reads, in part:

“A Class 1 test can be taken with a day cab and flat deck trailer with little or no weight (depending on the provincial regulations), and the following day a newly licensed driver can take that license and haul a load weighing over 63,000 kg across Canada on some of the most treacherous roads in the world.”

The petition lists four points:

1. Regulate the Class 1 commercial licensing process to be considered a nationwide skilled trade of professional drivers.

2. Modify the National Occupational Classification Code to give individuals the opportunity to qualify for funding to support their training.

3. Develop and implement a common mandatory entry-level training curriculum and a graduated licensing system for Class 1 license candidates.

4. Require licensing bodies to collect and store information on the training provider and duration of training to be associated with the record of each commercial driver.

Kelly Block, Conservative member of Parliament representing Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek, Saskatchewan, authorized the petition.

Most of the signatures so far come from Alberta (1,885), and the second most signatures come from British Columbia (1,571).

Since the Humboldt Broncos crash , three provinces have passed laws for mandatory entry-level commercial truck driving training: Alberta (effective March 1), Saskatchewan (passed in December, effective March 15), and Manitoba (effective Sept. 1).

In July 2016, the province of Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce mandatory entry-level driver training for commercial truckers. The driver training policy took effect on July 1, 2017.

The semitrailer driver who caused the Humboldt Broncos crash has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Jaskirat Sidhu, 30, pleaded guilty to all 29 counts against him in January, including 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing harm. He had been working for the company since March 17 and had taken a short driving course during the summer of 2017. For his first two weeks of employment, he was accompanied by another driver, but in his third week he was solo.

The owner of the tractor-trailer involved in the Humboldt Broncos crash, Sukhmander Singh, owner of Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., pleaded guilty to failing to maintain proper logbooks and failing to implement safety programs. Civil charges under provincial and federal regulations for which fines are capped at $5,000.