(File photo)

According to ICBC, more people than ever are taking road tests across British Columbia, but nearly half of those test-takers are failing.

In May, a record 35,000 road tests were administered across the province. This figure is up an astonishing 24% from the monthly average over the last year.

On Vancouver Island specifically, in May, ICBC said road tests were up 22% (3,976) compared to the monthly average of 3,253.

In addition, ICBC has conducted 15% more road tests (39,037) on Vancouver Island compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2018 to 2019 (33,801).

ICBC says a good portion of this record-breaking number is due to the amount of test failures, which result in the test-taker re-booking a road test. 

According to ICBC Driver Licensing Office Manager, Jerry Boal, the number of people failing the test is putting undue stress on the system. He is pleading with those seeking to take the test to make sure they are prepared to pass the test before they sign up to take it. 

“We encourage drivers to take their road test when they’ve gained a lot of driving experience and feel confident about their skills,” said Boal. “If you come prepared for your road test, you have a much better chance of succeeding.”

“This helps you avoid another wait for an appointment, and helps other drivers get an appointment sooner.” 

To combat the high failure rate, ICBC released five tips they say will increase the odds of someone passing their road test:

  • Think positive thoughts and the right mindset by being confident driving in the area you will be taking the test and try to reduce your stress however possible
  • Work on harder maneuvers such as parallel parking and reverse stall parking. Practice them until they feel smooth for a confidence boost
  • Pay attention to your surroundings and try not to make small mistakes like forgetting to shoulder check or missing a speed limit reduction sign
  • Make sure you are observing the speed limit through construction, school and playground zones.
  • Practice until you feel confident in your safety skills and attend a driving school course if need be. 

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