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B.C. government mandating new training for class 1 commercial drivers

Click to play video: 'New mandatory training for B.C. commercial truck drivers' New mandatory training for B.C. commercial truck drivers
New mandatory training for B.C. commercial truck drivers – Apr 1, 2021

An Okanagan family of a Humboldt Broncos crash victim are elated that the B.C. government has now introduced mandatory entry-level training (MELT) for class 1 commercial drivers.

“We are very pleased to get this fantastic news and we are really looking forward to seeing the results on our highways,” said Ginny Hunter.

Lawrence and Ginny Hunter’s 18-year-old son, Logan, died in the tragic 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan. 

“The implementation throughout Canada ensures that the 16 lost souls in the Humboldt crash and the 13 survivors didn’t go in vain,” said Lawrence Hunter.

“This is for the memory of everyone and to prevent another tragedy.”

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The news of the new mandatory training comes five days before the three-year anniversary of the 2018 crash, and B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said it’s long overdue.

“It’s about helping drive up the competency and professionalism of drivers,” Fleming told Global News on Thursday..

“Mandatory entry-level training will be required starting in June and will need certificates by October. Drivers (will) have much more airbrake training and will be trained on much heavier vehicles, around 32,000 kg, and have more competencies around operating large trucks.”

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B.C.͛s class 1 MELT program will see drivers complete a number of  behind-the-wheel practice driving hours, in-yard hours and theoretical instructional courses.

MELT is welcomed by the BC Truckers Association, which believes more training never hurts.

“This really is a step in the right direction to create a uniform standard to make sure that every driver, no matter where they operate, has a basic set of skills they can use,” said Dave Earl, the association’s president. 

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