Alberta, Canada, has set out a plan to improve the training, testing and oversight of all drivers, particularly those in the commercial trucking industry.
The Government is launching consultations with Albertans and key stakeholder groups on three proposed initiatives:
- Mandatory entry-level training for commercial drivers
- Pre-entry requirements for new commercial carriers
- Modifying the road test model for all driver’s licence classes
“Safety on Alberta roads is a top priority and a commitment of our government,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation. “We have laid the groundwork for changes that will enhance safety and improve services for Albertans. Now we need to hear from Albertans and stakeholders about the best approach.”
Alberta plans to introduce mandatory training and enhanced road and knowledge tests for drivers seeking to obtain a Class 1 driver’s licence (tractor trailer), a Class 2 driver’s licence (bus) or an “S” endorsement (school bus). It is also considering introducing requirements for new commercial carriers starting business in Alberta to prove their compliance with national standards before receiving safety certification.
Modifications to the road test model for all classes of drivers are also being considered, including the possibility of restoring driver examiners as government employees. These changes come in the wake of a 2016 independent report which identified issues in the industry, such as inconsistent road test fees, poor service and improprieties, including criminal activity in some cases.
“The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) puts safety above all when it comes to the transportation industry,” said AMTA President Chris Nash. “We believe minimum standard training is required for both new and existing commercial drivers and carriers to operate on Alberta’s roadways. We look forward to working with government to develop standard training in the transportation industry.”