Professor interviews truckers across Canada, calls for standard truck driving training nation-wide
A University of Saskatchewan professor is calling for Canada-wide mandatory training for truck drivers, after spending months interviewing drivers.
Alexander Crizzle interviewed about 250 truckers on topics such as nutrition, access to rest stops and road safety.
“We heard that there was not adequate truck driver training. And secondly, there’s not enough access to rest areas,” Crizzle said.
Last month, Saskatchewan introduced legislation for mandatory minimum training for drivers. It comes after a deadly crash in rural Saskatchewan, involving the Humboldt Broncos team bus and a semi-truck. The crash left 16 people dead and 13 injured.
Crizzle said he’d like to see mandatory training rolled out across the country – not just in each province.
“I think at the end of the day, there has to be some kind of standardized training protocol. Truck drivers need to have adequate training, and they need to be consistent,” Crizzle said.
Truck driver Kelly Sabyan said he supports Canada-wide standardized testing, since truckers often travel beyond the province where they received training.
“You can get your license in Saskatchewan, but you’re going to end up in Vancouver, Toronto or Quebec – and they have some good hills out there,” Sabyan told CTV News at a gas station.
Sabyan said training is especially needed for new drivers, who don’t have trucker mentors.
“The guys that taught my generation are not here anymore. It was a different time of training back then,” Sabyan said.
During Crizzle’s interviews at truck stops, he heard concerns from older truckers.
“The more senior truck drivers…they’re actually scared to drive with these younger truck drivers,” Crizzle said.
“We never thought we’d hear that.”
Canadian trucking data is limited, according to Crizzle.
“There’s not a lot of information about Canadian drivers. We typically use information collected from the States and try to inform our own policies here,” Crizzle told CTV News.
National framework for truck training could be on the horizon. The federal transportation minister has said he plans to speak with his provincial counterparts next year.