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AB Government improves truck and bus safety

Improving Safety With New Truck And Bus Training
Posted on 10/22/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Improving Safety With New Truck And Bus TrainingUpdate March 8, 2019 The health and safety of Alberta students is a top priority for the Government of Alberta. As I highlighted in a recent email, Alberta Transportation has introduced Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) requirements for new Class 1 and Class 2 drivers effective March 1, 2019.

In discussions with our education partners, I have heard the mid-school year implementation date raises some challenges for school authorities. As a result of these concerns, the Government of Alberta is extending the deadline for new school bus drivers to comply with the MELT requirements to July 31, 2019.

New school bus drivers who are interested in this extension must apply to Alberta Transportation by July 31, 2019 for approval to get their Class 2 licence under the pre-MELT process. The application form for this extension will be available online beginning March 15 at
https://www.alberta.ca/mandatory-entry-level-training-for-class-1-and-2-drivers-licences.aspx. As laid out in the attached MELT FAQ, drivers who have been approved for the extension must take and pass the pre-MELT Class 2 knowledge and road test by July 31, 2019 and then take the enhanced MELT knowledge and road test by March 1, 2020.

This new extension date will ensure students can continue to get to and from school and activities without interruption for the remainder of the 2018/19 school year. This extension also aligns with the requirements for all school bus drivers to obtain the S-Endorsement on their commercial driver’s licence.

To be clear, this is not an exemption from the new training and certification. We strongly believe the new requirements will improve safety, reduce collisions and save lives.

We will continue to work with school authorities and education stakeholders to ensure we transition to the new training standards as smoothly as possible. We recognize that this program will result in increased costs to school boards. Education staff will be reaching out to school boards over the next few months to request more details regarding the net increased costs as a result of MELT and the S-Endorsement training requirement changes.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Rick Grebenstein, Senior Transportation Manager, Business Operations and Stakeholder Support, at 780‑422‑6018 (toll-free in Alberta by first dialing 310-0000) or rick.grebenstein@gov.ab.ca.

October 22, 2018 - Alberta is mandating training for new commercial drivers and strengthening safety requirements for commercial carriers to enhance public safety. 

 
Following consultation with key industry stakeholders and Albertans, the Government of Alberta will implement mandatory entry-level training for new Class 1 and Class 2 commercial drivers in the spring. 
 
Along with the compulsory training, more stringent safety requirements for new commercial truck and bus companies will be in place.  
 
Mandatory training for new commercial drivers will result in safer, more highly skilled drivers working in the truck and bus industries. New safety requirements will ensure startup trucking companies fully meet compliance and safety standards before they begin operating on Alberta roads.  
 
“We are advancing safety standards in our commercial driving industries to enhance road safety, not just in Alberta, but across the continent, as commercial drivers travel across Canada and North America. We’ve worked with our industry stakeholders to make these changes with their support and we are pleased to be moving forward to put them in place.” Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation 
 
“The AMTA and industry have developed and delivered training over the years that was optional. The announcement of mandatory entry-level training will ensure the industry has the fundamental tools to operate on public roadways by establishing a benchmark of required education for commercial drivers and carriers.” Chris Nash, president, Alberta Motor Transport Association 
 
The training and operating requirements will take effect in Alberta on March 1, 2019. Temporary Safety Fitness Certificates will no longer be issued as of Jan. 1, 2019. 
 
Quick facts 

Alberta’s Mandatory Entry Level Training Program for drivers seeking a Class 1 or Class 2 licence will include:
o Standardized curriculum taught in all driver training schools.
o Specified hours of training required in-class, in-yard and in-vehicle. 
o Enhanced knowledge and road tests.

Drivers who obtain a Class 1 or Class 2 licence between Oct. 10, 2018 and March 1, 2019 will be required to re-take the new enhanced knowledge and road test (at government expense), when it becomes available in March. 

Driver instructors and examiners will be re-trained and retested to deliver and test the new curriculum.

New requirements for commercial carriers will include:
o Full compliance documentation when applying for a Safety Fitness Certificate starting Jan. 1, 2019.
o A mandatory safety and compliance course and knowledge test before beginning operations. 
o Formal, third-party review of compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations within one year of beginning operations.
o Safety Fitness Certificates must be renewed every three years.

There are more than 25,000 commercial carriers operating more than 150,000 vehicles in Alberta. 
 
Related information: 
Commercial driver training
Commercial carriers Consultation 
Frequently Asked Questions

Media inquiries John Archer
John.archer@gov.ab.ca
587-985-4252
Press Secretary, Alberta Transportation 


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