At the beginning of the year, Canada announced they would be working on introducing a national mandatory entry-level driver training standard. The intention behind the new program was to ensure that all drivers getting behind large commercial trucks would have the necessary skills to safely drive on Canadian roads.
Now the federal government is looking to tackle distracted driving as part of the standard. The government released a request for proposal to develop a distracted driving module that would be introduced as part of the mandatory entry-level driving training (MELT).
“Distracted driving is a growing problem on our roadways and risks the safety of every type of driver,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).
“The majority of fleets in Canada have distracted driver training and monitoring policies in place to mitigate the negative effects of distracted driving. However, this development will provide the provinces with a potential distracted driver MELT module that would ensure all new entrants coming into our sector understand the safety consequences of distracted driving behavior.”
The Canadian government stated their goal is to develop training material to address driver distractions and offer guidelines to transportation companies to mitigate the issue.
Currently, only a few provinces have mandated entry-level training for truck drivers. Canada’s commitment to introducing a national driver training standard came after a number of high profile truck crashes, such as the Humboldt bus crash that killed 16. The truck driver, in this case, failed to heed a stop sign at an intersection due to being distracted by a loose tarp.
When Canada first announced its intention to launch a national driver-training standard, the trucking industry applauded the news. The CTA stated, “It’s a historic day for our industry to see all provinces committed to creating a national training standard.” The mandate is expected to be developed by January 2020. As the deadline approaches there will likely be more information on what types of training will be included.
Here at TRAFFIX we’re excited about a national training program and are happy that the government is addressing the very real concerns about distracted driving.
If you’re interested in joining our team as a driver, check out our online job postings!