Because of the heavy use of commercial vehicles on Delta’s highways and roads and our work with businesses and Delta Police on crime and safety (safe operation of commercial vehicles) in our industrial parks, Delta Chamber of Commerce Chair Kelly Guichon was pleased to present a resolution on truck driver training to the assembly at the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in Penticton, BC, May 24 – 26.
The resolution, developed by the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, was presented by the Delta Chamber as co-sponsor. The resolution was approved as policy which will now be presented to the provincial government.
The BC Chamber policy recommends:
1. That the Insurance Corporation of BC work with key stakeholders to develop a standardized “minimum” curriculum for “all” commercial vehicle driver training schools in the province; and
2. That the Provincial Government review reciprocal “commercial” drivers licence exchange agreements with other Canadian jurisdictions to reflect the need for testing of commercial drivers licence holders which have not previously held a BC commercial drivers licence – until such time as respective jurisdictions in Canada meet or exceed the BC minimum curriculum standard for commercial licence testing.
Over the next ten years, the BC Trucking Association (BCTA) expects the industry will need 375,000 new truck drivers. Some of that demand will come from an expanding industry, and some will be needed to replace an aging workforce.
The end result will be that within a few years, a there will be a huge turnover in the men and women currently sit behind the wheel of the big rigs that role along on our highways.
At the moment, there are no minimum training standards for truckers. The BC Ministry of Transport requires only a pass on a written examination and 30 minute road test combined with a 16-hour ICBC approved course on airbrake testing.
Anyone with a good driving record and a clean bill of health can apply for and get a Class 1 commercial trucking license begin driving with a learner’s licence in as little as one day.
There is no shortage of drivers with Class 1 licenses, but many jobs go begging and trucks still idle because companies cannot find drivers with enough training and knowledge to be trusted with expensive semitrailers and transport trucks.
Nor can the industry find enough highly skilled drivers needed to haul oversize loads or hazardous cargo.
Boosting the testing and training required for a Class 1 licence would travel along way to ensure a new generation of quality truckers for the industry and make our roads a safer place to be for everyone.