Jun 28, 2016

By Dave Woodard

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New commercial truck drivers in Ontario will have to take an approved entry-level training program before they can take the test for a Class A licence, starting July 1, 2017.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says the training programs will last four-to-six weeks, and fees will be set by private career colleges approved to provide the service.

Del Duca says new, province-wide standards for trucker training were developed with industry representatives and road safety experts, and will be made public next week.

He says the training will ensure all new commercial drivers have a consistent skill set to handle a big rig safely, and will eliminate unregistered trucking schools.

Word that Ontario will become the first province to introduce mandatory entry-level training for truckers follows a 12-vehicle pileup Friday on Highway 400 near Highway 401 in Toronto, which claimed four lives, and involved three transport trucks.

Del Duca says the number of fatalities in large truck collisions fell 40 per cent in the last 10 years, even though the number of large trucks registered in Ontario increased 19 per cent in that time.

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