ICBC has shortened the length of road tests for new drivers in British Columbia.
The company dropped the length of Class 5 licences – or full licences – and Class 7 licences, or “Novice” licenses, from 45 minutes to 35 minutes on Monday.
The insurance operator, which is grappling with record-setting demand for road tests, says the shortened exam time will allow the company to complete 22 per cent more road tests per day.
“While continuing to focus on road safety, the number of redundant manoeuvers has been reduced,” reads the ICBC website.
“Hazard perception in Class 7 road tests will be completed as part of the general drive and not part of the parking manoeuvre. Parallel parking and backing manoeuvers have not changed,” said the company.
ICBC says it conducted more than 343,132 road tests over a 12 month period from June 2022 to 2023, marking a 33 per cent increase in tests compared to the same period in 2018 to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
That increase is slightly lower on Vancouver Island, where 39,037 road tests were completed over the past year, or an approximate 15 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2018 to 2019.
ICBC is also encouraging drivers to practice and prepare for their road tests, since re-booking a failed exam adds to the company’s backlog.
In May, nearly 50 per cent of drivers who took a road test for the first time on Vancouver Island failed the exam, which partially contributed to ICBC’s record-setting demand for road tests.