Alberta ends privatized road testing
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.