Use Humboldt lessons as ‘catalyst’ for change: CTA

TORONTO, Ont. – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is asking governments to look beyond the actions of an individual driver in the wake of a truck-bus collision that killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos family, and explore a series of changes in the name of industry safety.

“When the findings of the carrier audit are released, the trucking industry, governments and safety stakeholders across Canada should use the facts surrounding the events of April 6 as a catalyst to finally deal with a small segment of the trucking industry that chooses not to adhere to safety regulations,” it says in a release.

Applauding Alberta’s commitment to introducing mandatory entry-level driver training, in addition to entry requirements for new carriers, the alliance released a 10-point action plan covering issues as broad as hours of service, distracted driving, sobriety, carrier evaluation programs, training and technology.

Alberta Transport Minister Brian Mason “has shown leadership throughout this horrific event, but the directional improvements announced today, along with other items, need to be introduced in all provinces,” said alliance chairman Scott Smith. “We need a national plan. We believe the CTA 10-point plan shows the way. Now is the time.”

“The vast majority of trucking companies and truck drivers embrace a culture of compliance by far exceeding minimal safety requirements,” says CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “However, the events surrounding the Humboldt tragedy have reminded all of us that we need to have a national conversation about raising the bar in dealing with those operators who do not make the proper investments in truck safety and lack the commitment to make improvements.”

The action plan includes:

  • Introducing regulations this summer to mandate the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) for all carriers required to maintain a logbook by September-December 2019.
  • Consulting with the federal government, commercial vehicle manufacturing and trucking industry to explore the feasibility of developing regulations requiring forward-facing cameras in all new and existing federally regulated commercial vehicles.
  • Partnering with governments, manufacturers and the trucking industry to assess the availability and feasibility of increasing the use of additional in-cab technologies that monitor distracted driving behaviour of commercial drivers.
  • Working with the governments, manufacturing and the trucking industry to assess the market readiness of advanced driver assist systems (ADAS), including speed limiters to mandate set speeds on heavy trucks, and determine the role governments can play in increasing the penetration rate of driver assist technology in the marketplace.
  • Encouraging all provinces to introduce mandatory entry-level training (MELT) for commercial truck drivers based on the national occupational standard (NOS).
  • Working with governments, trucking and the training industry to develop a distracted driving awareness module for commercial vehicle drivers to be incorporated into all provincial MELT programs and other training programs.
  • Exploring with the provinces and the federal government ways to expand the use of on-road safety prescreening technology (pre-clearance/pre-screening) to assist provincial enforcement officials in identifying commercial vehicle operators that require further attention and intervention.
  • Working with federal and provincial governments to better focus on-road enforcement related to known human factors that contribute to collisions.
  • Working with federal and provincial governments to develop a better proactive system to identify trucking companies and drivers that pose a risk to public safety — including such measures as mandatory drug and alcohol testing, new entrant education and evaluation programs and anti-avoidance mechanisms.
  • Working with federal and provincial governments to develop a ‘best practices’ guide to assist purchasers of transportation services in identifying unsafe operators.

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