New mandatory semi truck driver training starts Friday in Saskatchewan

New mandatory semi truck driver training starts Friday in Saskatchewan
Drivers seeking a Class 1 commercial licence in Saskatchewan will have to undergo new mandatory training starting Friday, March 15.

Changes were announced in December 2018 after commercial trucking was thrown in the spotlight following the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Sixteen people were killed and 13 injured when the team’s bus slammed into a semi on April 6, 2018, at an intersection in eastern Saskatchewan.

The minister responsible for SGI , J oe Hargrave , said stakeholders were involved in coming up with the training curriculum, and is the culmination of work started by SGI in 2017 to improve standards.

“These changes will improve safety on our province’s roads by ensuring Class 1 drivers receive more rigorous standardized training, based on strengthened curriculum requirements,” Hargrave said Thursday in a statement.

Drivers will now have to undergo 121.5 hours of in-classroom, in-yard, and behind the wheel training, with a focus on basic driving techniques, professional driving habits, vehicle inspections, and air brakes.

Class 1 testing will be carried out by SGI examiners only. Certain accredited training schools were previously allowed to test students.

Training schools have received instruction on the new standardized curriculum, and the province said those who deliver training will be held to higher standards.

New drivers who pass will be subject to a 12-month safety monitoring period once they received their Class 1 licence.

During this time, drivers who are involved in at-fault collisions, receive speeding tickets or other infractions will be subject to sanctions.

Drivers who already have their Class 1 will be grandfathered in as of March 15.

There are different rules for drivers who drive semis exclusively for farm operations.

They will need to pass the same tests to obtain an “F” endorsement on their existing driver’s licence, a requirement that also starts on March 15.

Those drivers will only be allowed to operate within Saskatchewan’s borders, and are subject to the same 12-month safety monitoring program.
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