More strange rules from the driving world
By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, May 6th 2016
Here are some odd rules, regulations and policies that might raise some eyebrows and alarm bells.
Parents of teens taking a driving road test must ask for their son’s or daughter’s permission to be debriefed by the examiner at the conclusion of the road test.
This situation is ridiculous, since a teen needs the permission of the parent to attain a learner’s permit in the first place.
The authorities maintain the debrief situation is subject to privacy laws.
This has never been tested in our courts, and is very likely an overzealous application or interpretation by a monopoly corporation seeking to show how parents are peripheral, not pivotal, to the whole process of getting a driver’s licence.
This strange policy should be discarded immediately.
Driving schools are exempt from displaying the L and N when conducting lessons, but must have “STUDENT DRIVER” signs attached to the back of the training vehicle.
This same driving-school vehicle on a provincial road test must display an L or an N, and is not exempt. Strange indeed.
How are the police to know the difference?
The whole policy of displaying the N must be revisited. It is not permanently affixed to the vehicle.
Instead it is a magnet, attached to the back of the vehicle.
It can easily be removed by any prankster or passerby.
Several young drivers have been ticketed for not using the N, when infact they have affixed it prior to their drive and despite having a spare one in the glove compartment.
It should have no legal standing unless it is permanently attached, as is the practice in other foreign jurisdictions.
The N phase is a never-ending phase. It can be kept forever. No other jurisdiction has this strange anomaly.
In Ontario, the N phase lasts for five years, and if the second road test is not successfully completed in the five-year period, the candidate returns to the L phase.
The display of the N puts teens driving alone at night in jeopardy.
In particular, it identifies young women driving alone at night. For this reason alone, the practice should end.
I know of several law-enforcement personnel who will not allow their daughters to use the N after dark in certain parts of our province.
Reference the Highway of Tears.
The N phase is a good policy.
The display and never-ending rule should be eliminated.
We are indeed stranger than any other province, state or country in the world.
Both teens and seniors are subjected to unnecessary delays and false hope in booking a road test with our monopoly corporation.
If a person fails the road test, they are informed of their right to book another test within two weeks of the failed attempt.
This advice is given despite the knowledge that the wait time for re-booking a test is often months, rather than weeks.
There is no excuse for such a long wait.
The licensing authority knows exactly how many learners will be attempting the road test a year in advance, yet takes no definitive action to reduce the wait time prior to the glut occurring.
The authorities also know how many seniors are turning 80 years of age, and will likely be doing a road test as well.
These wait times are the strangest of all.
The situation is predictable and easily remedied with the mobilizing of part-time examiners for a very predictable logjam of test times needed.
As a professional driving instructor, I am not permitted to instruct anyone with an L in their own vehicle.
The training must be done in a driving-school vehicle only.
Yet any ‘Tom, Dick and Harry with a valid driver’s licence can do it: The strangest of all.