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Mandatory training for truckers coming soon

Last Updated Jul 4, 2019 at 6:28 pm PST

FILE - Tractor-trailers sit in a parking lot. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/David Zalubowski

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Stronger standards are coming for commercial drivers hoping to work in this province.

BC Trucking Association President Dave Earle says standardization of entry-level training for all Class 1 operators of semi-trailer trucks is long overdue.

“It’s been a bit of a journey and I think it’s important to recognize that there are multiple ministries and agencies involved and trying to get everybody around the table engaged when there have been other very pressing concerns has been difficult. We’re just happy that we’re finally at a point where we’re going to be able to move forward on this,” he says.

The Province will gather input from the trucking and driver training industries and other stakeholders to see how a mandatory Class 1 driver training program in could align with recently introduced entry-level training standards in other Canadian jurisdictions, like Alberta.

Earles says his organization support the development of a province-wide program.

“One of the goals is certainly to have a mandatory entry-level training program that is consistent with other jurisdictions in Canada to endure reciprocity–that drivers trained in British Columbia are able to work across Canada and vice-versa,” Earles says.

Earles also says he also wants to ensure that B.C.-based training is accessible to people who want to launch a career in the industry and that it is tailored to the needs of commercial drivers in the region.

Consultations led by the Ministry of Transportation are set to start this summer with support from the Ministry of Public Safety and ICBC, according to a release issued Thursday.

“The BC Trucking Association has recommended that B.C. consider minimum standards for entry-level training for Class 1 drivers, and this focused consultation is designed to help us define and set effective standards,” says Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“Everyone has a stake in ensuring that new commercial drivers have a minimum body of skills and knowledge before they begin operating some of the largest and heaviest vehicles on B.C. roads.”