New training programs for semi-truck operators will come into effect following the Humboldt Broncos crash.
Joe McGuire, a frequent visitor to the valley and Class 1 driver for 17 years, said that the new programs coming into play could create better Class 1 drivers at the end of their training, which is typically two weeks.
"That actually is quite normal in the field right now," commented McGuire in relation to a standard two week training period. "North America, in a whole, has such a deficit of drivers."
Brian Mason, Transportation Minister for Alberta, announced that new rules and training protocols will come into play for Class 1 drivers with the intent of providing more knowledge to those coming into the industry. The Alberta Government has not revealed how long these programs will be as of yet but Mason has expressed the intent of making it longer than two weeks. The mandatory entry-level training program will begin in January 2019 with a number of other safety regulation changes.
"You're going to find, when it comes to lengthier study periods to get the license, the cost of the license itself is going to be out of reach of most people," expressed McGuire using his 17 years of experience in the field as a professional reference. "Most people coming into driving are those who are 21 years old that are just getting past their GDL's and just coming into the legal stand-point to where they can actually drive."
"The positive of that is that, hopefully, we'll end up with better train-drivers on the road, even though there is no guarantee of that."
McGuire concluded by expressing that he does support the Alberta Government's position on better training as he has witnessed one too many times a new Class 1 operator making near-fatal mistakes and breaking transportation laws.