Al­berta ends pri­va­tized road test­ing

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The Al­berta govern­ment’s plan to have all driver’s li­cense road tests be done by Govern­ment of Al­berta em­ploy­ees is be­ing touted as a so­lu­tion for poor ser­vice, ir­reg­u­lar fees and re­duced ac­cess for ru­ral ar­eas.

Last week the govern­ment an­nounced as of March 1, 2019, all road tests will be con­ducted by govern­ment em­ploy­ees, they will be stan­dard­ized and ac­ces­si­ble at registry agen­cies across the prov­ince.

In Drumheller, Brandi Sch­nei­der of Drumheller Registries says she is not sure how the changes will af­fect its ser­vice.

“Cur­rently we have a driver ex­am­iner that comes out of Stet­tler and he de­cides what days he does test­ing,” said Sch­nei­der. “Some smaller mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties may be los­ing their driver test­ing. At this point, we be­lieve Drumheller will re­main with driver test­ing ser­vices, but I am aware re­ally small cen­tres that cur­rently do some test­ing will not have test­ing ser­vice go­ing for­ward.”

The change is to con­fi­dence in the says a press re­lease.

“Al­ber­tans de­serve a sys­tem for road tests that meets high stan­dards for be­ing fair, con­sis­tent, ac­ces­si­ble and trust­wor­thy,” said Brian Ma­son, Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion. “We are tak­ing ac­tion to change the way road tests are con­ducted to re­store pub­lic con­fi­dence in the pro­gram. A govern­ment-run road test sys­tem will en­sure high stan­dards for safe, con­sis­tent, re­li­able ser­vice across Al­berta.” re­store sys­tem,

The new change also stan­dard­izes the fees for test­ing. For ex­am­ple, the av­er­age fee for a Class 5 test is $89.50. Un­der the new frame­work, this will be $83. There will also be a call cen­tre cre­ated so if is­sues arise dur­ing test­ing they can be re­ported to Al­berta Trans­porta­tion. It also states ru­ral needs will be as­sessed and road test hours ex­panded as re­quired.

Sch­nei­der says the fees to the con­sumer are rel­a­tively un­changed, how­ever, when fees go up, registries do not ben­e­fit.

“A cou­ple years ago when an­nual reg­is­tra­tions went up … it was all govern­ment, none of it went to the registry agency. The govern­ment fees go up, but then they cap our ser­vice fee,” she said.

Re­cruit­ing for new testers will be­gin this month.

Up un­til 1993, all driv­ing ex­ams were con­ducted by govern­ment em­ploy­ees. To­day there are 153 pri­vate ex­am­in­ers and more than 200,000 road tests were con­ducted in 2016.

Al­ber­tans de­serve a sys­tem for road tests that meets high stan­dards for be­ing fair, con­sis­tent, ac­ces­si­ble and trust­wor­thy,”

Come March 2019, road test­ing in Al­berta will be per­formed by Al­berta Govern­ment em­ploy­ees.

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