The government is taking back road tests in the Province of Alberta.
What may come as a surprise to those from out of town has become the usual for Albertans since 1993, when drivers’ licence testing switched from being given by government employees to being run exclusively by the private sector.
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According to a release from the Province, the current privatized system “is vulnerable to many problems, such as inconsistent fees, poor service, reduced access in rural areas, and an overall lack of integrity,” which weighed heavily in the government’s decision to make the change.
As of March 1, 2019, all drivers’ licence examinations will be conducted by someone working for the Government of Alberta, according to the release. Road test fees will be standardized and accessibility will be increased for those living in rural communities.
“Albertans deserve a system for road tests that meets high standards for being fair, consistent, accessible and trustworthy,” said Minister of Transportation Brian Mason in the release.
“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.”
Alberta is the only province in the country that uses a completely privatized road test model, and the release states that Alberta Transportation receives an average of seven driver examination complains every weekday.
The new government-run road test model will include online scheduling, a call centre to receive complaints, improved oversight on how the tests are being conducted, and enhanced accessibility across the province.
“These changes maintain the vital role that registry agents play in our system and ensure that the important frontline services they provide will continue to be available to Albertans in their communities,” said Brian Malkinson, the Minister of Service Alberta, in the release.