Tougher truck driver training and testing

By Rosalind Russell – The opposition New Democrats want the Ford government to end what they call “highway carnage”. And they’re laying the blame on trucker training and testing.

Following a particularly deadly weekend that includes a snowplow operator being killed in a collision with a transport, a Queen’s Park news conference quoted stats from the auditor general. 

They show that drivers tested by their driving school for a licence have a 95% pass rate. 

At Drive Test Centres, it’s 69%.

And 25 percent of companies that do their own testing are among the worst for at-fault collisions.

Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof says good schools and good drivers are not universal.

“That’s where the government can play a role, to make sure that the regulation of the schools, that the regulation of the trucks, that all trucks on the road are safe and the drivers are safe drivers.”

Vanthof says it’s the government’s responsibility to correct that.

“We’re going to continue to push, to make sure that all the schools are producing quality drivers and that the provincial government has enough people on the road to provide enforcement, to make sure that trucks on the road are safe.”

Vanthof says some drivers aren’t aware that they’re driving “40-ton missiles”, and wouldn’t pass on hills and curves.

With files from Bob McIntyre

Photo: Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof speaks to a Queen’s Park news conference about truck safety on Ontario highways. To his right is Travis McDougall, co-founder of Truckers for Safer Highways, and to his left is Lise Vaugeois, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North. (Ontario Legislative Assembly/YouTube)

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