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Mandatory truck driver training to begin in Saskatchewan

The wreckage of a fatal bus crash carrying members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team is shown outside of Tisdale, Sask., on April, 7, 2018. The Saskatchewan government is introducing mandatory training for semi truck drivers almost eight months after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Drivers seeking a Class 1 commercial license will be required to undergo at least 121.5 hours of training starting in March 2019. Sixteen people died and another 13 were injured in April when the Broncos's team bus collided with a semi at a rural Saskatchewan intersection. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

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.

READ MORE: Tragedy and inspiration: Humboldt Broncos named newsmaker of the year

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.

READ MORE: Petition calls for feds to take over trucking industry regulations

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has said it will be in place by next January.