In the wake of several high-profile accidents involving semi trucks, Saskatchewan has moved to ensure potential drivers receive more training.
On April 6, 2018 sixteen people were killed and 13 injured when a semi-trailer failed to yield at a flashing stop sign and crashed into a bus carrying players and staff of the Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey team. Since then there have been repeated calls to make sure semi truck drivers are better trained.
The new regulation requires 121.5 hours of training for a Class 1 licence – the licence required to drive a semi – and will go into effect March 15, 2019. Current standards require a valid Class 5, meeting the physical requirements for vision, a trip inspection, and passing a written and road test.
Those who currently have a Class 1 license will be grandfathered in and will not need to upgrade to maintain their license.
While most changes are effective next year, effective immediately a 12-month safety monitoring program is being introduced for all new semi drivers. The government says that this means, in addition to the existing monitoring that occurs for all drivers, SGI will monitor semi drivers more stringently for a year post-testing so remedial action can be taken if there are safety concerns.
According to a 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 ensuring more rigour. Training schools will receive instruction and training on the new curriculum, and the people who deliver training will be held to higher standards.”
Also effective March 15, 2019, anyone driving a semi used in farming operations needs to successfully obtain an “F” endorsement on their driver’s licence when operating the truck inside Saskatchewan boundaries. The F operators will still have to pass the 1 test but will not be required to have 121.5 hours of training. The provincial government says that it is continuing to consult with agriculture organizations to determine the best licence designation for farm use.
Read the entire statement here.