Ontario has a Minimum Entry Level Training requirement for all commercial drivers. At least four other provinces are considering a MELT requirement for their licensed commercial drivers. But, is MELT the answer?
MELT will not encourage drivers to improve their skill level. MELT will not improve the pay level of those with higher skill level than MELT trained personnel. MELT will not recognize longevity in the trade. In fact, MELT will dumb down the skill level of all drivers to Minimum.
MELT should be the beginning of career long skills development instead of the way it’s structured, MELT is the be all, end all.
The hope is that MELT will just be the first step in a life long career of learning. The reality is that MELT will always remain the Minimum.
When Mike Holmes, from HGTV, says the minimum building code isn’t good enough, we believe him because Mike does it right — the first time. Why then are we buying into a government minimum standard to be all we should have when it comes to road safety?
Last April we witnessed an horrific wreck in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. Because, the truck driver involved in that wreck plead guilty to spare the victim families from reliving the horrors but as an industry we were cheated out of our responsibilities being tried. Sure, one employer paid a price, a driver will pay a huge price, but it should be an industry not just paying the price but learning how better to serve those industry front line workers. Let’s not sit back and relinquish our responsibilities to that one company, that one driver. Everyone in the trucking industry bears responsibility for being more interested in bottom lines than safety.
If we can bring about a situation where truck driving, no, commercial driving is recognized as a skilled trade with a life long career path of testable advancements then that one company’s, that one driver’s paying the price for Humboldt will not have been in vain.