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Drivers’ petition call on governments to investigate Truck driving schools

May 13, 2022, #NipissingWestOPP responded to a single motor vehicle collision on #Hwy17, in #Sudbury. The driver of a commercial motor vehicle had driven into a ditch, there were no injuries. Photo: OPP North East Region

It’s Road Safety Week in Canada, and Truckers for Safer Highways (TFSH) is asking drivers and citizens to sign a new petition calling for an inquiry into Truck driver training schools across Canada.

“Truckers for Safer Highways is asking for your support to call on both the Federal and Provincial governments to begin an inquiry into the training of new drivers across Canada. Many new drivers are taught to ‘pass the test’ and not necessarily to become the safest and most professional drivers possible.  There is no real standard for who is allowed to train new drivers within each training school, nor are these schools checked on a regular basis to ensure they are teaching to the standards laid out by the jurisdictions they are based in,” the petition on Change.org reads.

Travis McDougall, who founded Truckers for Safer Highways with fellow driver Jeffrey Orr, plans to present the petition to provincial and federal Parliaments in fall of 2022, after the Ontario and federal Conservative leadership elections are over: “We plan to ask all of the Conservative leadership candidates if they will sign, support and present our petition,” McDougall says. “We will ask the Liberal and NDP members too. In Ontario, we have very supportive Members of Parliament including Michael Mantha, who we know will present it, assuming they win their elections in June.”

On March 25th, Road Warrior News published an interview with a Truck driving examiner which listed several techniques being used by driving schools to expedite graduation and testing of brand new Truck drivers, some of whom are licensed without ever driving in snow or icy conditions.

“In the last several months, we have been flooded with students travelling from the Greater Toronto Area. I firmly believe they’re coming into offices like ours, three hours away from home, to avoid people noticing how many students the schools pumping out. They are pumping out way too many students for the hours in the month,” the examiner told RWN. “They all claim to be giving 116 hours per student. Unless they’re running 24 hours a day and have at least 12 instructors, there’s no way they can train this many students. One of the schools I know of has only one instructor.”

Jeff Orr and Travis McDougall founded Truckers for Safer Highways.
Photo: TFSH

“Considering the Auditor General’s report of 2019 and the follow up of 2021 the MTO (Ontario) has failed to make improvements in many ways within their pervue as an enforcement agency. They have failed to rectify all 19 of the recommendations set out by the auditor generals report. Some changes that were started are yet to be completed. If the government enforcement agencies are not fulfilling their mandate than the public has the right to know why.  Why are they not auditing carriers with poor records and high rates of collisions?” the petition reads.

“Truckers for Safer Highways would like your support for an inquiry into why there has been no efforts on the part of the MTO to make improvements and rectify their downfalls.”