Mandatory training for truck drivers set to begin in Saskatchewan

REGINA — Mandatory training for commercial truck drivers in Saskatchewan is to begin Friday.

The change was announced in December, eight months after a deadly crash between a semi and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.

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Sixteen people died and 13 were injured when an inexperienced truck driver from Calgary blew through a stop sign in rural Saskatchewan and into the path of the bus.

New drivers seeking a Class 1 commercial licence will be required to undergo at least 121.5 hours of training, pass more rigorous driver's tests and will be monitored for one year.

The province says current Class 1 drivers will not be subject to the new standards, but anyone wanting to drive a semi as part of a farming operation will have to pass the new tests.

Alberta brought in mandatory truck driver training this month, but farm workers can apply for a one-year extension.

Ontario was previously the only province with mandatory truck driver training.

Canada's transportation ministers have agreed to develop an entry-level national training standard for semi-truck drivers. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has said it will be in place by next January.

© Preeceville Progress