Think you’re a good driver? ICBC says you probably still need a retest

Think you're a good driver? ICBC says you probably still need a retest

WATCH: Over-the-top ICBC ads tell drivers it might be time for a re-test, especially if you got your license in the 70s, 80s or 90s. Tess van Straaten reports.

They’re on B.C. Transit buses, they’re on social media, and they’re online — over-the-top ICBC ads telling people born in the 70s, 80s and 90s that it might be time for a driving refresher test.

“A lot of people spend time complaining about other bad drivers and their bad behaviours and what we want is for them to think maybe, just maybe, I could be part of the problem too,” explains ICBC’s Joanna Linsangan.

There were 350,000 crashes in B.C. last year — a record high — but the vast majority of people still think they’re good drivers.

However, of the more than 100,000 drivers who have taken the 20-question Drive Smart refresher test so far, a staggering 40 per cent have failed.

“It’s been about a 60 per cent pass rate, so not that great,” Linsangan says. “We aren’t too happy with that and it goes to show a lot of us out there could use a tuning up when it comes to the rules of the road.”

The reality is, most drivers have probably developed some bad habits behind the wheel or forgotten some of the rules of the road. But the big question — will taking an online test actually make people better drivers?

“It’s good for raising awareness and it’s probably good to do a review,” says veteran driving instructor Steve Wallace of Wallace Driving School. “Whether it transfers to lower crash rates or anything like that is extremely dubious.”

Wallace is also quick to point out drivers between 35 and 65 have a much lower crash rate than young drivers and those over age 75.

“If you want to reduce the crash rate, you need hands-on training and you need to focus on the people having the crashes,” says Wallace.

And the good news, pass or fail, the results won’t affect your license.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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