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SASKATCHEWAN


Continued work on Saskatchewan driver training standard

The Saskatchewan Trucking Association continues to work towards a commercial truck driving training standard in the province of Saskatchewan. A ‘standard’ in the province would mean that all truck driver training schools in the province follow a pre-approved curriculum for a set duration. This would allow the trucking industry to be confident that when new drivers are hired, they were trained adequately and to a standard that the industry needs.

The standards for truck driver training and licensing in Saskatchewan are the responsibility of Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), the crown corporation has expressed that the current method is not perfect and must be updated to reflect the expectations of new drivers from the companies that hire them.

The STA has provided input on course duration, content and implementation dates. Pushing for reciprocity with Ontario at 103 hours, which is felt is an adequate amount of time to produce driver’s companies can hire and continue to train. The STA has asked SGI to focus on a competency-based approach that won’t only make the industry safer, but will also provide part of the long-term solution to the truck driver shortage as well as open the doors to possible funding.

 

Highway Patrol in Saskatchewan
Commercial vehicle enforcement officers in Saskatchewan have a new mandate and a new name. The Saskatchewan Highway Patrol is replacing the former Commercial Vehicle Enforcement group.

The name change reflects the newly expanded role for the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure’s enforcement team. The new name and mandate will come into effect on July 1, 2018.

“Last year, it was announced that the Protection and Response Team (PRT) would be created to help reduce crime in rural Saskatchewan,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit said. “Officers from Commercial Vehicle Enforcement were identified as members of the team that would provide support to the RCMP and municipal police forces and they will soon be ready to do that.”

Although protecting the provincial highway system through commercial vehicle enforcement will remain the primary function for Saskatchewan Highway Patrol officers, they’re receiving expanded responsibilities to support their role on the PRT.

These responsibilities include:
• Responding to 911 calls;
• Investigating impaired drivers;
• Enforcing speed limits and other traffic violations – inside and outside of work zones;
• Taking action when someone is found committing an offence;
• Responding to motor vehicle accidents; and
• Investigating vehicles hauling livestock to ensure the health and welfare of the animals.

Members of the Saskatchewan Highway Patrol have received extensive training in recent months to prepare them for their new responsibilities. They’ve received training in the enhanced use of force, firearms and tactics for 911 calls, such as clearing a house of suspects and high-risk vehicle stops. Officers have also received training in dealing with people with mental health issues, as well as training in the Criminal Code and the requirements for the collection and control of evidence.

While the STA was initially opposed to the role change, citing a need for increased commercial enforcement in Saskatchewan as opposed to less, it’s believed now that this move may assist the province on cracking down on non-compliant carriers. Increased officers leading to an increased presence on highway is expected to address many of the compliance issues Saskatchewan has faced in recent years.

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