The Alberta Motor Transport Association built a new training state-of-the-art track and complex to help increase safety among its drivers.
To help ensure its members have access to the driver and safety training they need, the Alberta Motor Transport Association has opened a new 20,000-square-foot safety training facility, which includes a five-acre training track.
“For the AMTA, road safety is paramount,” said AMTA President Chris Nash in a press release. “We are confident that this facility will help to improve commercial driver’s skills and enhance road safety for all.”
The opening of the training facility also coincides with the rollout of new regulations for truck drivers. As of March 1, drivers in Alberta must have 121.5 hours of training prior to getting the Class 1 license needed for trucking.
Legislators passed these new rules following an April 2018 crash where a truck driver struck the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus, killing 16 people and injuring 13 more. The driver, who has since pleaded guilty to 29 charges, had received only one week of training.
“One of our goals is that we want training to be consistent,” Nash told Truck News. “That’s probably the biggest message we want to put out.”
At the facility, drivers will be able to practice and learn about new truck technology. “Drivers who have been driving an older truck that doesn’t have it, it’s a transition,” Nash told Truck News. “Being able to bring that to the forefront and educate in a controlled environment or to build training for people to be safer and competent on the road, that’s was this facility is all about.”
In addition to the training track, the new complex includes a truck bay, two simulators, classrooms, and office space. The facility was constructed to meet LEED Silver environmental standards, which require buildings to be energy efficient, save water, and generate less waste.
AMTA isn’t the only association opening training facilities for members. Last year, the RV Industry Association announced its plans for a new technical institute in Indiana. That facility, which is being funded by a $10 million investment, will be used to educate and train new technicians, who are in short supply.
Driver shortage is also an issue in the trucking industry. “We’re essentially at a critical driver shortage in the industry,” Nash told CTV News Edmonton. “The average age of a driver right now is 46 years old in Canada for a commercial vehicle driver.”