On June 28, 2016, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (the
Ministry) made an announcement that has significant implications
for both the trucking and insurance industry. As of July 1,
2017, individuals seeking to obtain their Class A license
for commercial trucks will be required to successfully complete an
entry-level training course before being permitted to take their
Class A road test.
The mandatory entry-level training will take four to six weeks
to complete and will be delivered throughout Ontario by private
colleges and authorities recognized by the Ministry. Once
individual completion is confirmed on a provincial-based web
system, Ontario Drive Test centres will then permit applicants to
attempt the Class A road test. Current Class A commercial truck
drivers are not required to complete the training.
The Ministry has provided a Curriculum Standard which the
interested colleges are required to follow in teaching the courses.
Based on the draft Curriculum Standard, the training will involve
three learning environments: in-class, in-yard, and in-cab. The
curriculum must teach defensive driving techniques and continually
reinforce safety and risk in operating a commercial truck. There
must be an emphasis on experiential learning and the class sizes
cannot exceed a ratio of fifteen students to one instructor.
This additional training requirement is the first of its kind in
the country and reflects the Ministry's particular concern for
the current state of truck driver training and overall road safety.
While accidents on Ontario roads involving transport trucks have
actually decreased by 40% in the past 10 years – according to
Transportation Minister, Steven De Duca – despite a 19%
increase in the number of trucks registered in Ontario, there
nonetheless remains a need for qualified and well trained
commercial Class A truck drivers within the industry.
This new mandatory training program is significant for the
insurance industry because it will inevitably reduce the number of
collisions involving commercial truck drivers registered in
Ontario, which in turn will reduce the number of claims for
insurers of both commercial trucks and personal vehicles. It also
offers insurers of commercial trucks an opportunity to revisit
their policies and premiums for drivers that become licensed in
Ontario after July 1, 2017. For instance, a new Class A driver
licensed in Ontario might warrant a reduced premium compared to
that of a new Class A driver licensed in any other province in
light of the Ontario driver's additional training in the safe
and proper operation of commercial trucks. Insurers might view this
as an opportunity to attract new business both within and outside
While the benefit and effectiveness of the Ministry's new
training requirement can only be measured by time, it is difficult
to imagine that it will do anything other than reduce collisions
and improve the overall safety of Ontario's roads. That is, in
our view, welcome change!
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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