In Wake of Humboldt Tragedy, Canada Slowly Moving Towards Mandatory Entry-Level Truck Driver Training

March 4, 2019 Company News Fleet Management Logistics Safety

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The tragic collision in April 2018 between a tractor-trailer and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team left 16 people dead and 13 seriously injured. The horrific nature of the crash put a spotlight on truck driver training and safety standards in Canada.  Currently, Ontario is the only province to mandate entry-level driver training, with a threshold of 103.5 hours of training before earning a Class A licence.  Saskatchewan and Alberta plan to implement standards of their own in the spring of this year.  But the federal government and other provinces are moving slowly towards mandating minimum training standards. **

At Canada Cartage, we have a robust training program and work diligently to ensure the safety of our drivers, other motorists, pedestrians, and our roadways. Safety is our #1 priority and we are a leader in proactive safety and compliance programs. On top of Ontario’s mandatory MELT training, Canada Cartage has a dedicated Safety & Compliance team that focuses on a number of initiatives that include:

  • ProTrainer program
  • Weekly reviews from Senior Management
  • Mandatory driver requirements
  • Robust driver screening
  • Classroom Training
  • Road Training
  • Remedial training
  • Trainer certification
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Random Inspections
  • Safety Observation Program
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Incident Response Team
  • Accident Review Committees (ARC)
  • Safety Performance Metrics
  • National Safety Database
  • MSO (Management Safety Observation) Program

Equipment safety

There are also a number of measures that Canada Cartage takes with equipment and drivers to ensure the roadways are safe for everyone. Speed limiters (or governers) are one of the many safety measures taken.  All company owned, leased, rented, and contracted power equipment has a maximum speed limit of the lesser of 105 km/hr., or the posted speed limit.

Cell phone policy

Canada Cartage has a zero tolerance cell phone policy. The use of a cell phone or any other electronic device is prohibited while a driver is operating any vehicle or equipment. Use of a cell phone or electronic device is defined as talking, texting, touching, or holding a cell phone or electronic device.  This includes the use of a Bluetooth connection to a truck mounted system, a Bluetooth connection to an ear bud or other device, or any form of “hands free” use.  In short, drivers do not operate any electronic device while the vehicle is in motion, so that the number one focus is on the road.

Hours of Service (HOS)

To ensure that our staff are not driving while tired, all drivers are required to operate in compliance with HOS regulations and undergo training as part of the orientation process. Canada Cartage has also implemented an E-log system for cross-border and intra-provincial shipments and is in the process of rolling out e-logs nationally to help facilitate the monitoring of drivers’ HOS and ensure that we are ready when the government mandate comes into effect.

Pre- and Post-trip Inspections

Canada Cartage drivers always complete a pre- and post-trip inspection on all equipment prior to taking any vehicle on a public road. Drivers do not operate any equipment with a major defect, and all minor defects are booked for service and repaired prior to the next dispatch of the equipment.  Drivers are instructed on proper pre-trip completion, which is another important safety measure covered during driver orientation.

Canada Cartage is proud to have safety standards that consistently rank among the highest in the industry, and we always take a proactive approach by establishing safety programs that all our drivers must adhere to.


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