March 27, 2019

Humboldt Broncos tragedy another reminder of a broken truck licensing system

David MenziesMission Specialist

Jakirat Singh Sidhu, the truck driver responsible for 16 deaths and 13 life-altering injuries to members of the Humboldt Broncos, was recently sentenced to eight years in prison.

According to my math, that’s six months of jail time for every life taken.

Sidhu also faces a 10-year driving suspension, and there’s a good chance he’ll be deported back to India once his prison time is served.

Some might argue it was an accident, but I don’t think so. This tragedy was less due to a mishap and more due to the incompetence of an inexperienced driver who had absolutely no business piloting an 18-wheeler.

While there’s plenty of blame to go around, the Humboldt Broncos tragedy is yet another glaring reminder of a broken truck licensing system.

The problems are set out in a column by Jim Park in industry trade magazine, Today’s Trucking, entitled: “Paying the Piper: There is blame to share in Humboldt tragedy,” and as Park notes, Sidhu himself is the other tragedy in this story because the industry let him down.

How in blue hell did this person ever receive a truck-driving licence to begin with?

We can’t fix the past, but we can and should crackdown on fly-by-night truck driving schools, because if that doesn’t happen, it’s only a matter of time before we bear witness to another Humboldt Broncos tragedy.

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commented 2019-03-29 03:01:16 -0400
Good observation Bruce Atchison… The reality is that most provinces have lost “control” of who is out on their roads… Accident statistics, such as those in British Columbia, show that there are way too many “idiots” out there but not really being “screened” for obviously stupid behaviour…. The insurance companies, provincial i.e. SGI or ICBC, or private, are being left to carry the financial load for the mayhem, and “all too clever” lawyers are also scamming the bodily injury claims system via the courts… And it has been thus since the 1980s, to which I can attest!… Provinces will have to “bite the bullet” and start a serious re-examining of the drivers on their roads – from little old ladies in their “battery carts” blithely going down the driving lane of two lane roads, to snotty “we own the road” bicyclists, to a growing crop of “old geezers” who have never learned the concept of a “left shoulder check” before pulling out of the driveway… Vancouver Island, for instance, is a DAILY reminder of all of the above…
commented 2019-03-28 21:13:52 -0400
How typical that the government regulates pipelines for every possible consequence while letting poorly-trained truckers on the roads. Transport Canada should be ashamed for its poor performance in this case. This is one of many cases where idiotic regulations are enforced while real safety issues aren’t.

I also wonder why the seniors’ bus has seatbelts while school busses don’t. I realize it takes a bit of doing to retrofit all those busses but even so, why were they left that way for so many decades?
commented 2019-03-28 11:29:48 -0400
David, this has noting to do with training. How much training do you ned to stop at a stop sign on a blind intersection? It has to do with cultural differences in values. It is not a race issue it is a cultural divide issue. The left wants to see moral equivalence every where. Not all cultures have the same values. This guy chose to take a risk that no vehicle would be there when he decided to blow the stop sign.

More regulation will accomplish nothing. It is like more gun control on non-criminal gun owners because the cops in TO have lost control over their bailiwick.
commented 2019-03-28 03:11:34 -0400
Thank you Karan Singh… And for 15 years having been Community Relations Manager for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, I can attest to the “games” being played by bodily injury claims lawyers – just look at the TV ads – and in defence of commercial licensed drivers still, dangerously, on our roads…. If the government of British Columbia is “seriously” concerned about soaring insurance claims costs, they had better start to re-examine thousands and thousands of “self indulged jerks” on our roads… And, yes, starting from the level of “I can do no wrong; the traffic lights don’t exist for me, bicyclists”!…. It’s that widespread….
commented 2019-03-28 00:42:52 -0400
Robert Hewgill:- “That’s the way they drive where they come from.”… Amen to that Amen!… And anybody who has been a tourist to the Indian sub-continent can attest to that reality….
commented 2019-03-27 21:52:26 -0400
We tried warn about this years ago when they first started bring them in to destroy the wages of Canadian truck drivers. We had gravel near Edmonton and we end up having to call the cops because they refused to stop at a stop sign where they came onto a road that our trucks were hauling on. They would pull right out in front of our trucks, forcing them to slam on the brakes. That’s the way they drive where they come from.
commented 2019-03-27 21:32:36 -0400
People who are arguing that this was just an accident are not considering the fact that he was a new arrival to Canada from a country where according to WHO 105,000 people die annually in road accidents. India is number one in the world for road accident deaths.

This guy didn’t showed any remorse for his actions, he & his family members were more concerned about his deportation than the deaths & carnage he has caused. Opium in various forms & degree is most commonly used by almost every east indian truck driver. I won’t be surprised if he was driving under the influence of some drugs. I do not trust RCMP investigation in such cases, they are biased towards protecting trucking industry.
East Indian drivers have little regard for life or safety of others, earning more dollars in the least time is foremost in their minds. That’s the truth.
Anyone who lives in BC (where 60% of trucking business is controlled by east indians) knows the perils of driving on highways or any road where they ply their trucks.
Any new arrival to Canada (except from USA) should not be allowed to drive commercial vehicles for at least 10 years after he/she gets their first Canadian driving license.
commented 2019-03-27 21:07:17 -0400
Someone shoots up the Danforth they call for banning of firearms. Inexperienced driver kills 16 injures 13. Nothing gets done just more thoughts and prayers.

I had to help a driver the other day. 3 weeks since getting his license he couldn’t even back into a dock. I see these truck schools all day. They are just out there to pass their test and not actually learn how to drive.
commented 2019-03-27 19:57:18 -0400
This class one license fraud has been going on for a long time, but has gotten worse with expanded and not properly vetted immigration. These new Canadians, (sic) that couldn’t drive a rickshaw, only have to put up the right amount of money are given a class one. These frauds did not earn the license, it was purchased and believe me, you can pick them out on the road.