Res #: 17-04M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Learning
Resolution No. 17-04M
WHEREAS, every year in Saskatchewan there are car or half-ton rollovers on gravel roads ending in injuries and fatalities, often as a result of new drivers on gravel; and
WHEREAS, very often these are well trained drivers who simply have no knowledge of the challenges presented when driving on gravel;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Department of Learning change the Driver Training Program so that 25% of the driver training is spent on gravel roads.
Response from Honourable Andrew Thomson, Minister of Learning:
The Driver Education curriculum in Saskatchewan provides clear objectives that are to be achieved by students enrolled in Driver Education. The curriculum also provides general guidelines for the time that is allotted to each topic. The Driver Education program consists of 30 hours of in-class instruction, and one of the 30 suggested lessons deals specifically with grid road driving and the challenges that it entails. The other component of the Driver Education program is the six hours of in-car experience.
The current requirement is that one hour of the six hours is spent experiencing highway driving, and at least part of that is to be spent of gravel roads. It is suggested that students experience driving in deep gravel and mud if possible. Currently, many if not all of our instructors in rural areas are having students spend at least one hour driving on gravel roads, as it is likely that students will do more driving on gravel roads in the future. Instructors are given some freedom to adjust time allotments to various types of driving in order to best meet the needs of their students, and to prepare them for the type of driving in which they are most likely to engage.
Although all students are required to drive on gravel roads for some time, there will be students in urban centers that spend less than a full hour on gravel. As you know, driving is a complex task, and the six hours of in-car instruction cannot adequately provide students with all the experience they need to be competent drivers. Much of their driving experience will come from driving with more experienced drivers while they have their Class 7 (Learners) license.
As Saskatchewan Learning constantly reviews the curriculum and guidelines provided for Driver Educators, we will review the accident statistics that are compiled for our province and will take your resolution into consideration. Our goal is to provide a program that will best meet the needs of our students, and we will continue to strive toward that goal.