Saskatchewan introduces mandatory truck-driver training for farmers

REGINA — Saskatchewan is expanding mandatory training for semi-truck drivers to include farmers.

The government introduced 122-hour compulsory training for commercial truck drivers in March, but gave a temporary exemption to farmers who drive semis as part of their businesses.

Thirty-three farmers have used the exemption to date, a government spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Training requirements for agriculture workers are to be phased in beginning next year. The goal is to have all programs aligned by 2021.

Joe Hargrave, minister for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, said trucks driven by farmers tend to be on the road less than commercial trucks and use less-travelled highways.

The government insurer reports that over the last three years, half the trucks registered in the province belonged to farmers, but they have been involved in fewer collisions than commercial trucks.

In an email to The Canadian Press, SGI spokesman Tyler McMurchy said an average of 1,189 collisions involving trucks occurred from 2010 to 2017. Saskatchewan-registered commercial semis were involved in an average of 664 a year, while farm-plated semis factored in 86.

Despite those numbers, the majority of farmers the government consulted supported mandatory training, Hargrave said.

“They know that our roads in Saskatchewan need to be safe,” he said.

“Especially after that tragedy of the Humboldt crash … While we were working on it before then, it really drove it home to everyone —this is necessary. Mandatory training is necessary.”

Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba introduced compulsory truck-driver training after the Broncos crash in April 2018.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, an inexperienced truck driver from Calgary, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after blowing through a stop sign at a rural intersection and running directly into the path of the hockey team’s bus.

Sixteen people died and 13 were injured.

“Anybody that I personally talked to and anybody that we consulted with, it affected all their thoughts,” Hargrave said.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Humboldt Broncos

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

Just Posted

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Federal share is approaching $750 million annually, up from $618 million in 2012-13

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Liberals table proposal for expanded Commons COVID-19 meetings, summer sittings

OTTAWA — The Liberals have tabled a proposal that would see expanded… Continue reading

Most Read