Highway trucking: SmartDriver fuel-efficiency program launched in Ontario

July 21, 2005

This release is also available in French

FERGUS, ONTARIO -- The newest member of a family of professional driver training programs will be launched at the Fergus Truck Show in Ontario, which runs from July 22 to 24. SmartDriver for Highway Trucking is a new three-part program designed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to reach owner-operators and professional drivers who do not have access to training in the traditional workshop format. The program provides information and introduces fuel-efficient operating practices and smart-driving techniques. Good driving practices can reduce fuel costs by 30 to 35 percent.

"Given that transportation accounts for nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, fuel efficiency is very important for ensuring a cleaner environment and addressing climate change," said the Honourable Joseph Volpe, Senior Minister for Ontario and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "The Government of Canada is committed to building a cleaner future in Canada and finding new and imaginative ways to encourage good driving practices."

The highlight of the event will be the launch of Mark Dalton -- SmartDriver, a mystery novel written by Edo van Belkom. It was developed to provide valuable information such as shifting techniques, tire type, and pressure and speed control in an entertaining way, while Mark and his know-it-all sidekick Jimmy cross Canada on an adventure that involves hijacking, kidnapping and other exploits. The novel is also available as an audio book.

Once drivers have completed the novel, they are invited to complete an on-line quiz that will test their knowledge on fuel-saving measures. A print copy of the quiz is also available from FleetSmart.

Mr. Belkom is a Bram Stoker and Aurora awardwinner and author of more than 200 stories of horror, science fiction, fantasy and mystery. His ongoing series of monthly articles has been published in Truck News/Truck West since 1999. He will be available at the Fergus Truck Show to sign copies of Mark Dalton -- SmartDriver at the FleetSmart booth.

The Government of Canada provided funding to this project through a partnership between NRCan and the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council. The Government's approach to climate change is focused on making the right choices for Canada. This will ensure that the actions taken contribute to the long-term goals of building a sustainable economy for the 21st century, a healthier environment and strong communities, while affirming Canada's place in the world.
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For further information on the FleetSmart program, visit http://fleetsmart.gc.ca.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A new training program will teach truck drivers how to save money and reduce emissions. The SmartDriver for Highway Trucking program, designed by Natural Resources Canada, focuses on fuel-efficient operating practices and smart-driving techniques. It was launched at a truck show in Fergus, Ontario.

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Natural Resources Canada

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