Ontario's changes to the G road test are dividing experts
The Ontario government is temporarily removing elements of the G road test in order to increase the number of appointments that can be made each day.
It comes as the province tries to eliminate the backlog of road tests created by COVID-19 restrictions. But the decision has painted a clear divide when it comes to how people feel about the shift.
Road safety expert and CEO of Ontario Safety League Brian Patterson doesn’t think it’s a move in the right direction.
“Anybody involved in safety, I think, was pretty startled by this,” he says.
Maneuvers covered during the G2 test like roadside stops, three-point turns and parallel parking won’t be part of the G test. The hope is that it will shorten the amount of time an examination takes.
“When you look at driver training across Canada or around the world, shortening driving tests isn’t something that’s in place,” said Patterson.
Driving on highways and major roads will still be evaluated.
Muhammad Asad, the chief driving instructor at TASK Driving School in Kitchener, is giving the changes the green light.
“There will be no disadvantage. It will just shorten the time -- the time of the students and also of the examiner.”
Asad said the changes don’t pose any safety concerns for his student drivers and the elements being taken away are just duplicate portions he would’ve taught already during G2 training. Now, he said he’ll be able to focus on the main parts of the G test.
“They need fewer lessons -- two or three maybe --- just mostly for the highway, the expressway, then they are good to go."
One of Asad’s students, who has his G test later this month, also supports the changes.
“I already know those things and I'm pretty confident about those things," said Ahmed Abdullah.
But for safety experts, like Patterson, think it’s a move in the wrong direction.
“We’re going to be laser focused on what’s happening with these changes,” he said.
The modifications will be in effect until at least March 31.