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Ministry responsible: Transportation
Safety on Alberta roads is a top priority. We explored 3 initiatives to strengthen the training, testing and oversight of all drivers, particularly those in the commercial trucking industry:
- modifying the road test model for all driver's licence classes
- mandatory entry level training for commercial truck and bus drivers
- pre-entry requirements for new commercial carriers
Driver examiner road test model (complete)
Albertans and stakeholders provided feedback on 2 key areas: returning to a government-run road test program and standardizing road test fees across the province, to address the following issues:
- Alberta is currently the only jurisdiction in Canada with a fully privatized road test model and has the highest road test fees in the country
- inconsistent fees, poor service and an overall lack of integrity in the system were identified in a 2016 independent report (PDF, 526 KB)
- the need for improved service, particularly in rural Alberta
What we heard
- Responses highlighted overall public support for:
- a government-run road test program (78% in the online survey; 70% in the random telephone poll)
- standardized road test fees (90% in the online survey; 88% in the random telephone poll)
- Alberta will return to a government-run driver examiner road test program and will standardize road test fees by March 1, 2019.
Mandatory training for commercial drivers (complete)
Albertans provided input on introducing a mandatory entry-level training (MELT) program for drivers who want to get a Class 1 (tractor-trailer) or Class 2 (bus) professional licence.
- Currently, Alberta does not have regulated training requirements for Class 1 or 2 licences.
- Following Ontario's lead, jurisdictions across Canada are considering MELT programs.
- Feedback will help inform the new requirements and refine the curriculum.
What we heard
- Responses highlighted very high levels of support for mandatory entry level training (94% in the online survey, 91% in the random telephone poll)
- As of March 1, 2019, all new commercial drivers will be required to take mandatory entry-level training to obtain their Class 1 and Class 2 driver's licence.
Requirements for new commercial carriers (complete)
Albertans weighed in on options to require new commercial carriers to prove their compliance with national standards before receiving a Safety Fitness Certificate.
- Currently, Alberta is the only jurisdiction in Canada to offer a temporary certificate, giving new companies a 60-day period to prove their compliance.
- By removing the temporary certificate, new trucking companies will have to demonstrate they have comprehensive knowledge of federal and provincial regulations before they begin operations.
- Feedback will identify possible barriers for smaller carriers and inform new requirements.
What we heard
Albertans and stakeholders provided feedback on 2 key areas requiring:
- new carriers to complete a safety and compliance course, prior to opening a commercial transport business in Alberta
- all commercial carriers to renew their Safety Fitness Certificate (which currently has no expiry date)
Based on these key areas, responses highlighted:
- overall support for Safety Fitness Certificate renewal for all commercial carriers (87% support in the online survey, 89% support in the random telephone poll)
- As of March 1, 2019, new requirements for commercial carriers include taking a mandatory safety and compliance course and knowledge test before beginning operations, and conducting a formal review of compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations within one year of starting operations. All carriers must renew their Safety Fitness Certificate every 3 years. The temporary SFC will be eliminated as of January 1, 2019.
More than 3,300 Albertans participated in the consultation.
- In-person stakeholder sessions, held in July 2018, included representatives from driver training schools, commercial truck and bus companies, as well as driver examiners and registry agents.
- An online survey was open to everyone from July 10 to 27, 2018, and received 1,736 responses.
- A random telephone poll was also conducted, with 1,335 people providing feedback.
- Improving safety with new truck and bus training (Oct. 10, 2018)
- Improving road test service for Alberta drivers (Oct. 2, 2018)
- Better-trained drivers keep roads safe (July 10, 2018)