The father of one of the boys killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash called mandatory training for commercial semi-truck drivers in the province a good first step, but one that does not go far enough.
Russ Herold, who lost his son Adam, told David Kirton on Saskatchewan Afternoon last week that he would like to see the rules adopted nationwide.
“There is no such thing as a border when you’re a truck driver nowadays. Everybody sees that there’s lots of trucks. Truck traffic is just the way goods move these days and we need to ensure the roads are safe,” Herold said.
He also called for graduated licensing — limits on mileage and the semi-trailer combination drivers are allowed to use, according to their time behind the wheel.
“Experience behind the wheel is what’s going to make people better drivers,” Herold said. “You’re not going on a thousand-mile trip your first trip out.”
Last week, the province announced that anybody applying for a Class 1 trucking licence will need at least 121.5 hours of training, a decision that has been welcomed by the trucking industry.
Farmers driving for agricultural purposes will be exempt from the new rules but will need to stay within provincial borders.
Herold, a farmer himself, doesn’t think there should be any exemptions — not for farmers driving short distances, not for temporary foreign workers with out-of-country licences.
“We all share the road and an accident could happen in 50 miles as easy as it can in 500 miles,” he said. “If you want to work here, you have the licence that’s required here and the training that’s required here.”
Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for SGI, has called mandatory training an overdue measure — one the government has considered even before the Broncos bus crash.
Herold said he gets frustrated to hear that from a government that has been in power for years.
“If people talk like that, obviously they know there was a concern, there was possibly a problem,” he said. “Why weren’t things done sooner? Why did it take a tragedy like this to bring it to the forefront?”