RESOURCE - On Line Drivers Test

Crash TestIf you went to the nearest ICBC Driver Service Center to renew your BC driver's licence and were directed to take a computer based knowledge test to qualify, would you pass? We all tend to think of ourselves as better than average drivers, but the truth is, by definition, half of us are not. Chances are good that we have done nothing to improve our driving skills and knowledge since the day we first received our full privilege driver's licence.

New drivers take the ICBC Online Practice Knowledge Test to practice before attempting to qualify for the learner's licence. When ICBC promoted a similar test to experienced drivers, only 48% of them passed.

If you would like to take the challenge when you have a spare moment, you can also get the test app for both Apple and Android devices.

Keep in mind that all of this forms the basic knowledge for a new driver. Experienced drivers should aim higher.

Have to admit that I took a educated guess on two of the questions and lucked out. The traffic light with bus addition. Don't have transit so never see but I do review the manual on a regular basis and back of the old brain clicked in. The other was the new driver and use of electronic device. That one was definitely pure luck as I don't keep track of GLP regulations.

Personal thought if you can't pass that test you should not be driving.

I also do not like the idea people are taking the test without knowing how to read English. All our signs are in English and the overhead highway signs only display English and information provided is not standard. I would prefer knowing every driver can read what they are saying.

People around the world drive successfully, and often in other countries with different languages. I don't speak French or Irish, but had no problem being able to understand anything on these informational signs, whether overhead or beside the highway. Or, more to the point, regulation signs, warning signs, construction signs, or information signs. 

It isn't ICBC's job to assess language skills. Their goal is to assess driving ability. Which they do by means of a Knowledge Test and a Road Test.

At one time, it was common to see Interpreters accompanying Applicants for the Knowledge Test (The Road Test is always done without anyone else present in the vehicle, and conducted in English.) But when ICBC realized that their pass ratio was around 99% ('normal' is around 80%) they responded by making the test available in eleven of the world's leading languages, thus eliminating the need for a translator.

Any use of a translator where necessary these days (all those other languages) will be via an ICBC employee telephone link, to ensure there's no malfeasance. Their job is to assess driving knowledge and driving ability, NOT to assess their language skills.

And let's think about all those road signs out there, that all drivers should notice and respond to. Over the years, and most places in the modern driving world, there has been an ongoing program to eliminate words on road signs. Much now is symbolic (except for those horizontal rectangle green information signs with the names of potential destinations). This makes everything much clearer to drivers, including what is or isn't legal. 'Watch for Falling Rock' got replaced with an obvious image some time back, and Yield morphed from a black on yellow word sign into a Red and White triangular sign without words. And, so on. Even fundamental signs that prohibit or allow stopping or parking use symbolic information, never mind where and when you can make a turn. 

I'm always impressed with the way that BC, Alberta, or the Feds managed to come up with different signs for deer. Which these animals seem to ignore, most of the time ...

I'm well aware of the International Road Signs and in full agreement with them. Also family members and friends I know in Europe, all speak more than one language.

What I was referring to is the overhead signage that can be programed and road signs that are unique to the situation.

"Watch for pooling water".

"Watch for Peds".

"Blowing snow. Whiteout conditions. Hard packed snow and ice".

"Strong Crosswinds". "Drive with caution."

"Slow moving vehicle next 8km".

"Heavy fog, limited visibility, black ice, freezing rain".

"All watercraft report to inspection station."

Above signage is stationary and then you encounter the odd one that is scrolling. These carry longer messages and I can't think of one at the moment.

I'm familiar with Dynamic Message Signs. They're a comparatively recent addition to some of our highways here in BC; in fact, TranBC consider themselves to be 'cutting edge'.

And for sure, these things can be useful, particularly in quickly changing weather/traffic conditions. And I must admit I've never seen their advisories written in anything but english.

But if you think that because of their invention, new BC driver license applicants should now be required to demonstrate an acceptable use of the english language as a precondition of being able to proceed with their application process ... well, we're not on the same page, here.

And I don't think that new Canadians need to be reminded endlessly to leave the phone alone, any more or less than the rest of us. Stupid is stupid.