By: Luke Jones, Published on June 29, 2016 07:24 PM, Last Update on June 30, 2016 10:19 AM
Ontario’s decision to reform the truck licensing system with mandatory training for all Class A drivers has been welcome by the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA). The changes were announced by transportation minister Steven Del Duca on Wednesday, with the province set to adopt a system of entry-level training for Class A licenses.
Under the reform, all drivers seeking a new commercial Class A truck license would need to participate in and pass an entry-level training. The provincial government will make the test mandatory for all such licenses in Ontario, with the training conducted by an approved provider. Only after successful completion of the test will drivers be able to sit the Class A road test.
Class A licenses are needed for a driver who operates any vehicle towing a trailer over 4,600kg. A bulletin from Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation detailed aspects of the training:
The course “will take approximately four to six weeks to complete and course fees will be set by individual training providers,” notes the bulletin. “Schools approved by the province have a year to develop a curriculum using a consistent provincial training standard,” adding that Commercial Truck Driver Training Standard (Class A) will be available early July 2016.
Ontario announced that the new training mandate will not be enforced until July 1, 2017 and that any current Class A license holder or any acquiring their permit before that date will not have to participate.
“The introduction of mandatory training, in addition to knowledge and road tests, is designed to ensure that commercial truck drivers are properly trained before they are tested,” Del Duca (pictured below right) notes in the bulletin.
“The new standard will help to produce higher quality commercial drivers and ultimately make our roads safer for everyone,” notes Kim Richardson, chairman of the board for the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario.