Sask. truck drivers call for mandatory training after Humboldt Broncos bus crash
A Humboldt truck driver is calling for better training in the industry in the wake of last week’s fatal Broncos bus crash.
The driver, Kim Wylie, posted a video to Facebook on Sunday, calling for the trucking industry to adopt some sort of graduate program for drivers, similar to the accreditation process for trades.
“My frustration started about five years ago when I was almost side-swiped by another truck,” Wylie, who's been a semi driver for 37 years, said in the video. “Since then, I’ve seen a lot of inexperienced drivers in our industry. It’s got to come to a stop.”
He’s not alone in the call.
The Saskatchewan Trucking Association stated recently it wants mandatory on-road practical training for people wanting a trucking licence.
Drivers in Saskatchewan and Alberta must pass a written test and road exam before being awarded a trucking licence, but mandatory training is not required.
Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada that requires mandatory training. Truckers there must have 103 hours of classroom and road training to acquire a licence.
A Saskatchewan Government Insurance spokesperson wrote in an email Thursday that discussions to tighten rules for trucking licences in the province have been ongoing since last summer.
The insurance Crown hopes to see a new program in place in early 2019, according to the spokesperson.
It’s pushing for standardization within courses — specifically, for 70 hours of training — and is not ruling out mandatory training.
Sukhmander Singh, the owner of the Calgary trucking company involved in the Broncos bus crash, said earlier this week the driver of the semi started with the company about a month ago and was trained by Singh for about two weeks before he started driving solo for the business.
The driver’s previous trucking experience is still unclear, and Singh did not provide his name to media, but the company owner said he checked the driver’s credentials before hiring him.
The company’s safety fitness certificate was suspended Monday by the Alberta government, as per standard procedure for companies involved in serious collisions.
The Humboldt Broncos team was travelling to Nipawin for a playoff game against the Hawks on April 6 when the team bus and the semi collided on Highway 35 near Tisdale, Sask.
Sixteen of the 29 people who were on the bus have since died.
The 30-year-old semi driver was uninjured. RCMP said he was initially detained, but was released and offered counselling.
--- with files from The Canadian Press and CTV Calgary