Mandatory Truck Driver Training?

Jonah Jones’ dash cam was rolling when he and his family were almost hit head on by a CN Intermodal transport truck last Wednesday.

The frightening experience occurred on the Trans-Canada Highway near Salmon Arm when the truck driver attempted to pass another slower-moving commercial vehicle.

“It’s not uncommon and I think that’s why it has struck a chord with people,” said Jones on Thursday.Now another driver is coming forward claiming he too was forced off the road by a CN Intermodal transport truck trying to pass a vehicle on Highway 97 near Prince George on Mar. 9.

“I basically had to pull over and come to a stop in my lane because the truck was not going to be able to pass,” said Prince George resident Russell Stewart. Stewart said trucking companies need to take responsibility.

“I think CN should have a look at what their driver expectations are and possibly timelines. Obviously this guy felt he needed to get in a hurry to get where he needed to be.”

A spokesperson for CN said the company is looking into both incidents and take safety very seriously. A number of dangerous close calls on B.C. highways is putting pressure on the trucking industry as a whole to address unsafe driving.

President of the B.C. Trucking Association Louise Yako said the majority of drivers do operate safely but she admits inexperience can be a problem.“In British Columbia there is no training that is required before someone takes a class 1 driver licensing test and in our view there should be a minimum mandatory training standard,” she said.“Training will not address people who make poor decisions but what training can do is to make sure that people who have taken it understand their responsibility.”

ICBC confirmed training is not mandatory for B.C. Class 1 applicants, with training choices being left to individual applicants to prepare for the two hour road / pre-trip test. “Any decision about mandatory driver training for commercial drivers (Class 1) would fall under the B.C. government” said spokesperson Sam Corea. However Corea said most drivers who take the class 1 test, book one through a driving school, so most drivers do take formal training.

The RCMP said it is the responsibility of an overtaking driver to ensure that it’s safe to pass and dangerous driving can result in a ticket or legal sanctions.The B.C. Trucking Association is asking drivers who obtain footage of potentially dangerous truck driving to send it to their organization.

Written by Shelby Thom

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