As Hadley Parsons waits to take her first road test at ICBC’s Saanich location, she’s doing her best to stay calm.
“I’m feeling nervous,” she explains. “I don’t know exactly what to expect; I just don’t want to fail and have to do it again.”
Meanwhile, Simon Basch says he’s feeling relieved after passing his second road test.
“I feel really shaky,” he said. “I was actually more nervous the second time around than I was the first time; when you’re in an exam kind of situation, you second-guess everything you’re doing.”
Their uneasiness might have been fueled by the fact that ICBC made their road test more challenging in 2016.
“We’re making it harder for people who fail on multiple occasions,” explains Joanna Linsangan, an ICBC spokesperson.
With about 350,000 crashes across the province in 2017, Linsangan says being more stringent when it comes to road tests is part of what ICBC is doing to keep B.C.’s roads safer.
Meanwhile, the average wait time to take a road test in Greater Victoria – from the time a customer books an appointment to when they actually take their test – has increased in the past year to 55 days, up from 49 days in 2017. This applies to all classes of licenses.
When asked if there is a connection between ICBC making their road test more challenging and the increased wait times, Linsangan said “there isn’t.”
She added that customers tend to book their road test well in advance, especially if they are taking driver training. Customers can book their road test 100 days in advance using ICBC’s online system, and there are also stand-by appointments available at most offices.
“The 100-day limit ensures that sufficient resources are in place to meet demand,” Linsangan said.
Based on ICBC’s most recent statistics for Greater Victoria, customers taking the road test for the first time have a 62 per cent chance of succeeding on their first attempt.
Their chances increase by 22 percentage points (84 per cent) if they re-take the test, and by another eight percentage points (92 per cent) when they take the test a third time.