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Increased safety with new training, trucking association says

By Tara Clow Mar 25, 2024 | 1:02 PM

New mandatory transport truck training goes into effect in the province next week.

It will adopt training standards consistent with the National Safety Code, ensuring truckers receive the same instruction as in other Canadian jurisdictions.

Chris McKee, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, says this is good news for safety.

“New Brunswick did not have a minimum standard for truck drivers who are new entrants to the industry who wanted to become truck drivers and receive their class 1 license,” says McKee.

New Brunswick is the eighth province or territory to implement Mandatory Entry Level of Training (MELT) standards and it is transferable from province to province.

McKee doesn’t think this will affect recruitment efforts.

“It’ll just ensure that those people who we are bringing in to fill our labour vacancy are being trained properly and are operating the equipment safely on our roadways,” he says.

He adds they are still experiencing challenges when it comes to recruitment.

“Across the country we have about 25,000 truck driving vacancies. We have become creative, and that means bringing over international drivers and training them to our current standards. We have several outreach programs and tools that we’re using to entice the younger generation,” McKee adds.

This MELT standards were implemented at first as a result of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy in April 2018. Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured when a coach bus and a transport truck collided in Saskatchewan.

The approved training program takes effect in New Brunswick on April 1.

Current Class 1 licence holders will be exempted from the new requirement and will not have to take the training.