Ben Wylie can breathe a short lived sigh of reduction, however tens of hundreds of different Ontarians attempting to get their driver’s licences aren’t so fortunate.
The 17-year-old managed to get his G2 driver’s licence on April 1, simply two days earlier than the Ontario authorities’s shutdown measures cancelled in-vehicle passenger exams — or non-commercial street exams.
“Each my dad and mom work full time, so it is at all times a problem to get to work and get to high school and wherever that you must be with out your licence.”
Wylie’s licence did not come with out its share of troubles: “Principally it took virtually like 9 to 10 months longer than it ought to have. It was very late.”
Wylie’s G2 street check was cancelled twice up to now yr due to varied lockdown restrictions and reopenings.
He was capable of squeak by this yr, however a few of his associates aren’t so fortunate.
“All people’s in the identical boat, so not less than you might have some individuals round you type of going via it with you, however that does not actually assist.”
He provides, “All people desires their licence, all my associates need their licence, I wished mine. It isn’t an amazing feeling. It is good to lastly get it, however I nonetheless really feel unhealthy for a few of my associates who nonetheless cannot get their licence.”
Driving colleges additionally face roadblock
Based on the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), shut to three,600 passenger street exams have been cancelled on the Windsor DriveTest Centre alone because the starting of the pandemic, resulting from COVID-19 restrictions.
“We had 141 college students booked for the street check for the months of April and Might … not less than 68 of these have been cancelled..When you booked in April, it obtained cancelled.”
Jacob Hammoud is the proprietor and an teacher at idrive Driving College Windsor. College students can put together for his or her G1 written exams, however do not know once they can resume driving classes with instructors.
Enrolment at Hammoud’s faculty has down by about 40 per cent int he final yr, he says, noting many driving colleges are struggling to retain college students. At Hammoud’s faculty, enrolment has been lower than 40 p.c within the final yr.
“As soon as the lockdown is lifted, we must rebook exams, and in lots of instances that is a six-month wait time.”
These are the fortunate ones. Some who’ve had their street exams cancelled say they face wait occasions of over a yr.
The frustration over not having the ability to get a driver’s licence can be being felt past Windsor-Essex.
For the reason that begin of the pandemic, the MTO notes, “there have been roughly 294,400 passenger street exams cancelled resulting from closures and Gray lockdown restrictions.”
In Windsor, a petition has been began in hopes of getting the province to maintain DriveTest centres open for all street exams, particularly given the lengthy wait occasions to rebook.
The petition, which has garnered over 2,000 signatures by mid-Friday, is looking on the province to re-evaluate restrictions and discover methods to securely conduct street exams involving an examiner and individual taking the check.
Till restrictions are lifted, the MTO says it plans to rent extra driver examiners to extend the supply of testing as soon as college students are capable of hit the roads as soon as once more.