The 2018 calendar year was unusually busy for Alberta Transportation. In addition to routine workloads, such as supporting a robust highway construction program and permitting for commercial traffic, the Ministry undertook three major policy initiatives to make roads safer across the province.
Canadians were shocked and saddened by the tragic collision in Saskatchewan in April 2018 that involved the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team.
As condolences flowed across the country, jurisdictions from coast to coast sharpened their focus on what changes could be made to improve safety on highways. The Government of Alberta moved forward with three initiatives: changing the model for driver examinations, requiring mandatory training for Class 1 and Class 2 driver’s licences and more stringent requirements for commercial carriers operating in
During July 2018, Alberta Transportation consulted with the public and with key stakeholder groups about these initiatives (including the Alberta Motor Transport Association and many of its members). The results of these consultations informed the Government’s policy decisions, and in October 2018 several changes were announced:
• Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) Program. In an effort to improve driving skills and safe operations, Alberta will be the second jurisdiction to implement a Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) program for drivers seeking a Class 1 (tractor-trailer) and Class 2 (bus) licence. Ontario currently requires mandatory training for Class 1 only. As of March 1, 2019, drivers who want to get a Class 1 or Class 2 professional licence must take a standardized curriculum of training before applying for testing. Drivers who have obtained a Class 1 or Class 2
driver’s licence between October 11, 2018, and March 1, 2019, will be required to retake the new enhanced knowledge and road tests (at no cost) when they become available in March.
• New requirements for new commercial carriers. Starting January 1, 2019, Alberta Transportation will no longer issue temporary 60-day Safety Fitness Certificates. New carriers will have to provide all documentation up front to obtain the Safety Fitness Certificate required by the National Safety Code (NSC). As well, starting March 1, 2019
new carriers will be required to complete a mandatory safety and compliance course and knowledge test before beginning operations. A formal review of compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations will be required within one year of beginning operations. In addition, all existing carriers will be required to renew their existing Safety Fitness Certificates every three years.
• Driver examinations provided by Government of Alberta employees. The province is returning to a government-run driver examiner road test program for all drivers’ licence classes by March 1, 2019, with standardized road test fees. Albertans will be able to use an online scheduling system to book their road tests and report any problems with the test to a call centre operated by Alberta Transportation.
To learn more, and get the details about each of these new initiatives, please visit: