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TORONTO — Muneeb Khatana has waited so long to take his latest driving test that he doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into.
When the person administering his test gets into the Toronto resident’s car next month, he said, the criteria for passing could be different from what he was taught to expect when he took lessons last year.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation sought to reduce a backlog that has caused hundreds of thousands of appointments to be canceled and contributed to Khatana’s months-long wait for a driving test by temporarily removing some elements of the G-level driving test. which are also evaluated at the lower level. Test G2: A change announced earlier this week.
Ontario temporarily shortens G-road tests to reduce backlog
That should shorten each test, allowing time for more appointments throughout the day, the province said.
And while Khatana appreciates the effort to reduce wait times, he said he would have liked a little more information about what the change entails.
“I don’t know how they will mark me,” Khatana said. “That would have been nice to know. I would appreciate clarity. There is confusion around that.”
To pass an Ontario driving test, a novice driver must complete a certain number of maneuvers, and only a set number of mistakes are allowed.
Now, Khatana said he doesn’t know if it will be easier to pass the test, if he is allowed the same number of mistakes with fewer possible points, or if it will be more difficult, because he still has to get the same number of points. points with less margin of error.
“I’d love to know the answer,” said Sam Chong, a longtime driving instructor who also develops curricula for government-approved driving schools.
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“If I knew the answer, I could direct it to our association members, as well as assure them that their students will be able to pass the test accordingly.”
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He said there has been a paucity of information from the Transport Ministry about changes to the testing protocol. He started hearing rumors about the removal of some criteria from the G test since October, but could not confirm them.
“There was no response to any of the emails we sent, which is a bit frustrating,” he said. “Like, is this true? Or is it not? And so far, we still haven’t received any kind of confirmation (from the government) about this.”
Chong said he learned the rumors were true from media reports that quoted a spokesperson for Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney.
Aside from the miscommunication, Chong said he is not opposed to the move, as long as it is temporary.
The province is only eliminating maneuvers that are low-speed and low-risk, he said.
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“How many times have you seen a person die from parallel parking?”
While Chong said that a three-point turn is an extremely useful action, both it and parallel parking are included in the G2 test. Another casualty of the pandemic, the highway stop is not in the G2 test, but Chong noted that the “parking on the hill” maneuver is very similar.
Chong said removing those three items could reduce the test from 30 minutes to just 15, so it can be effective in solving the backlog.
“If it’s just a minor adjustment to allow applicants to take their exam faster so more practical exams are taken in the same amount of time, I don’t care at all,” he said. “But I think for a permanent change, I wouldn’t fully support it.”
The province has also hired new temporary examiners, extended hours of operation from Monday to Friday for road tests and offered road test appointments on weekends in some locations, along with opening temporary testing centers to supplement existing ones.
Khatana will be heading to one of those temporary hubs when she finally takes her test. He has to travel a little further than he expected, to Markham, Ontario, north of Toronto.
His test is scheduled for February, after two pandemic-related cancellations: the first by the province, the second because he caught COVID-19.
“I’ve been trying to book it for some time now,” he said. “It’s just that there weren’t enough slots, and there weren’t enough slots in the immediate weeks.”
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