ICBC is reassuring East Kootenay residents that driver testing services will continue to be offered in the region despite another reshuffling of examiners.
At the August 20 regular meeting of council, Sparwood councillor John Baher raised concerns that the East Kootenay was once again without enough examiners to meet demand for road tests.
ICBC spokeswoman Joanna Linsangan confirmed that one of ICBC’s new employees had since left the company.
However, a replacement has quickly been found.
“This new examiner has been conducting tests for the last three weeks,” she said in a statement issued on August 24.
It comes after a campaign for more driver examiners by a Sparwood high school student frustrated by the wait time for road tests, which gained the support of MLA for Kootenay East Tom Shypitka.
Linsangan said recruiting driver examiners could be difficult given the unique skills they require for the job.
“Particularly in a resource-based economy like the Kootenays, competition from other companies also makes it challenging to attract and retain staff,” she said.
ICBC now has three driver examiners dedicated to the East Kootenay and is currently booking road tests for Fernie this month and Sparwood in October.
By making improvements to its operations this year, the company has increased the number of road test appointments available in the region.
The East Kootenay, however, continues to have a high rate of “no-shows”, which is contributing to wait times.
“On average, one in five tests are cancelled because either the customer didn’t show up or they arrived with a vehicle that was unsuitable for a road test,” said Linsangan.
“Whenever a customer skips their road test without letting us know or arrives with a vehicle that isn’t fit to drive, they’re impacting other drivers who are waiting for a chance to get their license.
“We encourage drivers that cannot make their appointment to please call us or cancel their appointment online 48 hours before their appointment.”
Drivers who don’t have an appointment are encouraged to consider waiting on standby during testing days in Sparwood and Fernie.
In an effort to reduce wait times, ICBC has shared the 10 most common reasons a vehicle might not be accepted for a road test:
1. Cracked or illegally tinted windshield or windows
2. Dash warning lights (e.g. air bag) that affect the safe operation of the vehicle
3. Seatbelts not working or frayed
4. Brake lights, signal lights or headlights not working or with badly cracked or missing lenses
5. Vehicle not properly licensed or insured
6. Unsafe or illegal vehicle modifications
7. Horn not working
8. Unsafe tires
9. Doors or windows not operating (e.g. doors don’t open from inside)
10. Gas tank or electric charge too low