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Online petition hopes to overhaul truck training criteria
Posted on Wednesday, December 05 @ 18:15:17 CET by Admin

Truckstop Canada News:
TORONTO -- The family and friends of two young sisters killed in a tragic accident allegedly caused by a trucker have launched an Internet petition and website aimed at encouraging the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to toughen up training standards for commercial drivers.

The website's creator, James Faulkner, points out that there are currently no standards for commercial driver trainers in Ontario, which means "unscrupulous (driving) schools" can hire their own trainers who lack the proper knowledge and experience to train new drivers to the industry.

"The Ministry of Transport needs to enforce the new training standards … while the Ministry of Education needs to govern and regulate the institutions that teach these standards," states the website.

In September, Vanessa De Ceglie, 19, and her sister Isabel were in a Honda Civic traveling northbound on Airport Rd. in Caledon, Ont. when a gravel hauler slammed into their vehicle as it was making a left-hand turn. Vanessa was pronounced dead at the scene. Isabel was transported to hospital in critical condition. Two days later, Isabelle succumbed to her injuries. Sadly, the day of the accident was her 23rd birthday.

The truck driver, Gurjant Singh Sidhu, was charged with two counts of negligence causing death. He is currently out on bail.

The website claims that Sidhu is not allowed to drive his car, but is still permitted to work and drive a heavy truck while the case is pending.

The family and Faulkner are collecting petitions at (see link to website below) in an effort to get the MTO to adopt recent training standard recommendations made by the Advisory Council for Truck Safety (ACTS).

The proposed standards include entry-level commercial driver training criteria, and competency-based performance standards for professional commercial driver trainers.

Today, says Faulkner, too many novice drivers receive very little training in such areas as rules of the road; truck maintenance; proper loading and unloading techniques; cargo handling; and the the proper usage of air brakes.

Furthermore, many instructors who possess less than 24 hours of training themselves are not capable of properly teaching all of the necessary elements of defensive driving.

"These documents were put forth a year ago to the Ministry of Transportation. At this time no changes or additions to the current lack set of standards have been implemented," states the site. "This petition will also require the trainers themselves will go through the entire program as a trainee before being given in-class and in-cab teaching responsibilities."

As of this posting, the site has collected 6,344 names for the petition.

Courtesy of Today's Trucking

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