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
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
"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
The family and Faulkner are collecting petitions at
www.truckpetition.com (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
As of this posting, the site has collected 6,344 names for the petition.Courtesy of Today's Trucking