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After the tragedy of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash last week, the requirements for someone to get their Class 1 licence to drive semis are being called into question.

One of the main question currently is what do people have to go through to get this type of licence.

Well, if someone wants to upgrade their Class 5 driver's licence to any commercial class of licence, they need to be 18 years old and not a novice driver, and submit a satisfactory medical then get a Professional Learner's endorsement before they take more exams..

Then, they can apply for a commercial driver's licence if they successfully complete the pre-trip and road test for that licence class.

For all commercial driver's licences, these are the tests that are needed to be passed:

  1. Basic knowledge exam
  2. Sign exam
  3. Endorsement exam(s)
  4. Vision test
  5. Pre-trip inspection (a circle check vehicle inspection to show vehicle safety knowledge and check the equipment’s operation and condition. The learner is responsible to point out and name the item or equipment inspected without any help. Both this and the road test are done in a vehicle that the learner provides which someone licensed to drive that vehicle class can drive it there or come with a supervising driver).

It is also recommended, not required, that someone has previous driving experience before these tests. Approximately 90 percent of people do have previous experience.

This may seem comprehensive, but according so Shay Shpack, the Director of Driver Development and Safety Services with SGI, they still want to make some improvement.

"Since July [of 2017] we've been looking at improving our training program and we are recommending a seventy hour minimum training course before someone challenges a Class 1 road test and that would include in yard and in class and in cab hours."

Like Shpack stated, they are trying to improve the testing, but it hasn't been made clear whether they will do this anytime soon.

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