New mandatory training for commercial truck drivers in British Columbia will make roads safer, but comes at additional costs for new Class 1 applicants.
As of October 18, anyone applying for a British Columbia Class 1 driver’s license must successfully complete an ICBC-approved Class 1 Mandatory Entry Level Training Course (MELT) before taking a road test. . The new program will cost $ 15,400, compared to an average of $ 3,700. The cost of training varied depending on the driving school.
The new training requires 140 hours in total and includes more hours behind the wheel, hours in court and hours of theoretical instruction. In addition to this, candidates will have 15 hours of theoretical and practical training on air brakes. There will also be a focus on safe operating practices for the mountainous terrain of British Columbia and drivers must demonstrate that they have the knowledge to properly chain their vehicles for winter driving.
Safer Roads Canada board members Lawerence and Ginny Hunter, whose 18-year-old son Logan was killed in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash, announced the new training program as an important step in improving the overall safety of commercial vehicles.
âTruck and bus drivers drive some of the heaviest vehicles on our roads through a variety of climates and over difficult routes. Risks are present every day for these workers, but programs like MELT help mitigate these risks and prevent accidents.
Dave Earle of the BC Trucking Association said his organization was happy to help develop the new training and believes the new program will save lives.
âBetter trained operators will make better decisions and fewer errors, which will make the trucking industry stronger and more efficient,â he said.
There are currently 46 schools across the province qualified to offer the new training. Although training is mandatory for new Class 1 applicants, current Class 1 holders will not be required to complete the training.
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