Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski told media that all commercial semi truck drivers should be required to take mandatory training. Laskowski responded to the Saskatchewan government’s decision to grant farmers an exemption from mandatory entry level training.
“Safety is safety,” said Laskowski. “Why that vehicle is on the road shouldn’t matter,”
This week the Saskatchewan government announced mandatory training for new semi drivers, which take effect in March. Drivers will be required to take at least 121 hours of training in the classroom and behind the wheel.
But farmers that operate within the province will be exempt. SGI Minister Joe Hargrave reasoned that most farmers drive short distances, so training isn’t required. Laskowski strongly disagreed, saying that the responsibility of highway safety should be taken by all commercial vehicle drivers and fleets, regardless of the operation. “The Canadian Trucking Alliance believes the application of laws should be applied to trucks regardless of the freight they’re hauling,” he said.
Swift Current driving instructor Reg Lewis agreed, telling CBC the exemption for farmers means there will still be untrained semi drivers on Saskatchewan roads. “I don’t think there should be any exemptions,” Lewis said.
Hargrave said that the farm exemption was a test case and would be monitored going forward.