Ontario looking to mandatory truck training

The Canadian press is reporting that mandatory driver training for new truck drivers is coming to Ontario, although details are still being worked out.

Provincial Minister of Transportation Steve Del Duca says details will be available this fall. He said the measure would make Ontario the only jurisdiction in North America to have such a requirement.

Del Duca recently addressed the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) annual meeting in Toronto.

Flanked by about a dozen trucking-industry insiders, including Ontario Trucking Association President David Bradley, Del Duca said his Ministry led the first official consultation on mandatory truck-driver training a week earlier and he was using the TTSAO meeting to spread the word.

“Together we can — and we will — deliver a robust program to measure competency and administer mandatory training for commercial truck drivers.

“We will find a standard that keeps us at the forefront of road and highway safety in North America,” he said.

Del Duca said that between 2002 and 2011, the number of fatalities and large truck collisions declined by 41 percent while there was a 23-percent increase in the number of large trucks registered in the province.

“But just because those numbers point to significant improvement, we cannot rest on our laurels,” he said.

Del Duca said mandatory training and competency testing will “help deal with the crisis that we have upon us with a shortage of drivers, and it will provide security to those who have made transport trucking their chosen career.”