Saskatchewan announces changes to semi driver training

By Charles Lefebvre
December 3, 2018 - 10:30am

REGINA, SK. — The Province of Saskatchewan has announced new training requirements for commercial semi drivers that will come into effect next year.

Starting March 15, drivers who wish to obtain a Class 1 commercial licence in the province, which allows them to drive a semi truck, will need to undergo a minimum of 121.5 hours of training before they receive their licence.

“Saskatchewan has been working to improve standards for training curriculum and driver testing for semi drivers since mid-2017,” said Joe Hargrave, Minister Responsible for SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance), 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.”

Training will include instruction in a classroom, in the yard, and behind the wheel. Training will focus on basic driving techniques, professional driving habits, vehicle inspections and air brakes. Driver’s tests will also be aligned with the curriculum. Training schools in Saskatchewan will receive instruction on the new curriculum, and the people who deliver training will be held to higher standards, a release states.

“The Saskatchewan Trucking Association applauds this move,” Saskatchewan Trucking Association Executive Director Susan Ewart said in a release.  “The industry is on-board with strengthened training requirements.  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.”

Existing Class 1 drivers will be grandfathered in as of the implementation date, according to the announcement.

Alberta announced similar changes to training for truck drivers in July 2018. They’re expected to take effect in January.

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