New Safety Standards From Alberta’s Minister of Transportation

In order to enforce Alberta’s Safety Standards, the Province’s Minister of Transportation has introduced new rules, concerning the training for commercial drivers. Those drivers normally sit at the wheel of very large vehicles. Obviously, a failure to control such a vehicle could trigger the occurrence of a fatal accident. Many personal injury lawyers in Edmonton deal with such claims regularly.

Details on the strengthened regulations:

Now, commercial drivers must complete a 125-hour training program. That intensive program should include an in-class portion, an in-yard portion and an in-vehicle portion. The program’s start date was established: March 1, 2019.
Attendance of trainees at the scheduled program would work to ensure the trainees’ passing of a certificate test. New trainees would need to pay for the certification test, which was supposed to follow the classes. Those drivers that had completed the classes offered between October 10, 2018 and March 1, 2019 could take the same test without paying a fee.

What drivers would be deemed eligible for the training?

• Any driver that could provide full compliance documentation, along with certain other items.
• Driver should have safety fitness certificate; certificate must be renewed every 3 years.
• All eligible drivers should have completed a safety compliance course.
• All eligible drivers must undergo a formal, 3rd party review during their first year on the road. Obviously, the designated 3rd party must say that the observed driver passed his or her review.

Some of the methods to be used for implementing and enforcing the safety standards included the use of standardized fees for the exams administered by traffic authorities; this represents an attempt to keep any private company from administering an exam.

Arrangements were made for the introduction of any enhanced regulations. This provision was introduced so that the traffic authorities would remain open to consideration of needed changes or improvements. There was coordination of any effort to collect the complaints from those using the roads, or from those whose livelihoods depended on the utilization of commercial vehicles.

Coordination of an effort to study the submitted complaints, and to compose a response to each of them. Hence, the province could learn about any complaint, along with the response.

The most significant change to Alberta’s former regulations:

In the past, Alberta had not hesitated to let private companies administer some of the Province’s road exams. Now each of those same exams, given to drivers seeking a license/certificate must be administered by the Province. Alberta made that change after the tragic accident of 2018.

That accident caused the death of a number of civilians on a bus. The bus had collided with a commercial truck. The truck driver had passed an exam that was given by a private company. That combination of facts underscores the motivation behind the actions taken by Alberta’s Minister of Transportation.