File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS                                The wreckage of a fatal crash outside of Tisdale, Sask. The Saskatchewan government is introducing mandatory training for semi-truck drivers almost eight months after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS The wreckage of a fatal crash outside of Tisdale, Sask. The Saskatchewan government is introducing mandatory training for semi-truck drivers almost eight months after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Saskatchewan introduces mandatory semi-truck driver training after Broncos crash

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is introducing mandatory training for semi-truck drivers almost eight months after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Starting in March, drivers seeking a Class 1 commercial licence will be required to undergo at least 121.5 hours of training.

Joe Hargrave, minister for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, said the crash — that killed 16 people and injured 13 when the junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided at a rural intersection — influenced Monday’s announcement.

“It made it more clear that we need to get this done.”

But he said the new training “isn’t a Humboldt Broncos plan.”

“This is about the truck driving training and it was about the industry and where we should be taking the industry,” Hargrave said.

Drivers will be instructed for 47 hours in a classroom, 17.5 hours in a yard and 57 hours behind the wheel as part of the new program. There’s also a 12-month safety monitoring program for drivers now in effect.

Previously, Saskatchewan Government Insurance accredited driving schools but training was not mandatory.

Ontario is currently the only province that has mandatory truck driver training consisting of 103.5 hours.

Hargrave said Saskatchewan used Ontario’s training guide but modified it to give drivers more time behind the wheel and air-brake training.

Work on the mandatory training started in 2017 and western provinces agreed a basic training program was necessary, Hargrave said.

Alberta is making driver training with a standardized curriculum for new commercial truckers and bus drivers mandatory as of March 1. All new commercial carriers in Alberta will have to prove they comply with transportation safety regulations before they start operating.

Susan Ewart, executive director with the Saskatchewan Trucking Association, said the change in Saskatchewan is a step forward.

“Having mandatory entry-level training will increase that base set of knowledge and skill when they hire someone at a trucking company,” she said.

Saskatchewan farmers driving semis within the province won’t require the training yet because Hargrave said farmers aren’t on the road all year. He said the province is still consulting on the issue.

Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the changes don’t seem to address training for existing drivers and shouldn’t have exempted farmers entirely.

“There should be different sets of training but to leave it completely without any training is really leaving a big hole in terms of safety,” he said.

The training will cost between $6,000 and $8,500 — a jump from the current average of $3,000 for training.

Hargrave said grants may be offered to offset the costs and the province has broached the idea of having the training costs covered under the federal student loan program.

The semi-trailer involved in the Broncos crashed was owned by Sukhmander Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking in Calgary. He faces eight charges relating to non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations for alleged offences which occurred before the April crash.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who was driving the truck, was charged earlier this year with numerous counts of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Humboldt Broncos

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing shorts uses trekking poles as he walks through the snow at Burnaby Mountain Park in Burnaby, B.C., on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Canadians are “Angry Birds” when it comes to climate action, indicates a survey the United Nations calls the largest ever taken on the issue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
UN survey uses Angry Birds to reveal Canadian, global opinions on climate policies

Canada seventh out of 50 countries when it comes to concern about the environment

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Documents obtained under the Access to Information Act

The Cargill beef plant in High River, Alta., is shown on Thursday, April 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Union boss wants meat-plant workers on early COVID-19 vaccine list

Alberta meat plants were hot spots for COVID-19 outbreaks last spring

Lacombe city council rescinded many policies and bylaws on Jan. 25, 2021. (File photo)
Lacombe gets rid of outdated policies and bylaws

Data integrity project underway since 2016

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen, left, makes a save on Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mitch Marner scores game winner for Maple Leafs in 4-3 win over Flames

Mitch Marner scores game winner for Maple Leafs in 4-3 win over Flames

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2007, file photo, Boston Red Sox's Curt Schilling pitches against the Colorado Rockies in Game 2 of the baseball World Series at Fenway Park in Boston. Like many baseball writers, C. Trent Rosecrans viewed the Hall of Fame vote as a labor of love. The results of the 2021 vote will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, and Rosecrans was not alone in finding the task particularly agonizing this time around. With Schilling's candidacy now front and center — and Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens still on the ballot as well — voters have had to consider how much a player’s off-field behavior should affect his Hall of Fame chances. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
Baseball Hall gets no new members; Schilling 16 votes shy

Baseball Hall gets no new members; Schilling 16 votes shy

Prince Edward Island’s Birt is bubble-bound but first wants provincial title

Prince Edward Island’s Birt is bubble-bound but first wants provincial title

Toronto Arrows await word on where they can play, with Plan B going to the U.S.

Toronto Arrows await word on where they can play, with Plan B going to the U.S.

Former CFL player,-coach Brady understands historical significance of NFL promotion

Former CFL player,-coach Brady understands historical significance of NFL promotion

James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, watches during qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Darron Cummings
Canadian James Hinchcliffe inks full-time ride with Andretti for 2021 IndyCar season

Canadian James Hinchcliffe inks full-time ride with Andretti for 2021 IndyCar season

Toronto Six down Boston Pride 2-1 for first NWHL victory in franchise history

Toronto Six down Boston Pride 2-1 for first NWHL victory in franchise history

Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Copp (9) celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers during first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Nikolaj Ehlers leads the way, Jets storm back to beat Oilers 6-4

Nikolaj Ehlers leads the way, Jets storm back to beat Oilers 6-4

Most Read