Controversial Reduction of G Exam Time Raises Concerns over Road Safety

Many have questioned the thoroughness of the new evaluation procedure due to the lack of crucial components like parallel parking and assessing a driver's capacity to handle varied parking scenarios.

Team Parvasi – Inside
Prabhnoor Kaur

Drive test locations in Ontario have drastically cut the length of the G exam, an essential driving test for novice drivers, in a move that has drawn criticism and raised questions. A thorough evaluation that used to take 40–45 minutes has been condensed into only 20 minutes. Surprisingly, this reduction also leaves out crucial actions like determining the driver’s awareness of traffic signs, parallel parking, emergency parking, and uphill or downhill parking.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s tough times led to the decision to abbreviate the G exam’s duration and remove these essential components. To the surprise of many, this transition has nevertheless persisted even as things have gotten better. Driving instructors and worried individuals are increasingly speaking up to express their alarm about the possible effects of this change.

To express her concerns, a driving teacher who requested to stay anonymous said, “The drive test centres have been extending this change on a monthly basis, and it seems they are unwilling to revert back to the original examination format.” She further pointed out that the alarming rise in traffic accidents and pedestrian incidents is a result of the testing requirements being lowered. Many have questioned the thoroughness of the new evaluation procedure due to the lack of crucial components like parallel parking and assessing a driver’s capacity to handle varied parking scenarios. The removal of these abilities from the test leaves newly licenced drivers potentially unprepared for situations that may arise in real-world driving. These abilities are essential for safe and responsible driving.

Additionally, leaving out the evaluation of a driver’s understanding of traffic signs casts doubt on their capacity to negotiate challenging traffic situations and react correctly to shifting road circumstances. This omission might leave drivers ill-equipped to make wise choices, thus jeopardising everyone’s safety on the road.

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Driving Instructor Balbir Singh Khaira noted, “the provincial government should mandate a number of learning hours before booking driving test exams.” He further expressed concerns over lack of professional training and expertise.

Road safety proponents contend that upholding strict testing requirements is essential to lowering accidents and protecting both drivers’ and pedestrians’ safety. They compel driving test facilities to revaluate this contentious adjustment and reintroduce the thorough evaluation that includes necessary manoeuvres and familiarity with traffic signs.

Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation was requested to comment on the shortened G exam format and determine its effect on road safety in response to these worries. Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney quoted, “DriveTest continues to test applicants’ driving abilities in challenging conditions on major roads and expressways, including turns, intersections, driving in business areas and expressways. Examiners will continue to evaluate individuals’ driving abilities and score the road test based on the same criteria for the remaining maneuvers and as per Ministry of Transportation policies. DriveTest centres are continuing to deliver the modified G road test until further notice. “

Finding the ideal balance between meeting the problems brought by the pandemic and upholding the highest standards of road safety is the key concern as the discussion regarding the shortened G exam duration continues. To protect the welfare of people of Ontario, any changes to driving examinations should be carefully reviewed while maintaining the highest priority of ensuring the safety of all road users.

Driving instructors and concerned individuals are calling for a prompt review and the resumption of a rigorous G exam that completely analyses the abilities and knowledge required for safe driving practises.

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