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.
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.