Manitoba wants higher standards for truck drivers

Manitoba wants higher standards for truck drivers

A little over eight months ago a scary crash happened in Saskatchewan, experts believe it was not an accident. On April 6, 2018, sixteen people were killed and thirteen injured when a westbound semi-trailer truck struck a northbound coach bus near Armley, Saskatchewan, Canada. The semi-trailer had failed to yield at a flashing stop sign at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335.

A department spokesman said a federal Crown lawyer will be handling the prosecution on the charges against the owner. The maximum penalty for federal hours of service failing is $5,000 per offense, while the provincial charge carries a $310 penalty. A court can, however, use discretion to impose a penalty up to $2,000.

That incident prompted jurisdictions across Canada to take a closer look at their safety practices.

Manitoba authorities are looking at mandatory minimum training for truck drivers in Manitoba but the industry is concerned it won’t go far enough.

The Manitoba government plans to hold meetings next month to find out what those in the industry think about the idea of requiring new truck drivers to receive training.

The province of Saskatchewan is making driver training for new commercial truckers and bus drivers mandatory.

Alberta Transportation was already in the process of considering several improvements to traffic safety in our province. The province authorities said that such training will be implemented as mandatory starting March 1st of 2019. The province will eliminate a temporary safety fitness certificate and require all new commercial carriers to prove compliance with transportation safety regulations before they start operating. They will also be required to renew it every three years.

Jim Campbell runs one of five registered driver training companies in Manitoba and said there is a need to keep the current standard to maintain safety.

“(The government) needs to increase their standards a little bit more,” Campbell said.

He said moving to just three weeks of training is a cause for concern. The province is set to hold consultations in Winnipeg and Brandon in January.