Vehicles wait for traffic to pass so they can turn onto the Alaska Highway from Hillcrest Drive in Whitehorse on Nov. 9, 2018. Road tests for all non-commercial vehicle licences, such as Class 5, are set to resume once phase two of the territory’s reopening plan starts. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Road tests for Class 5 driver’s licences to resume in phase two of reopening

Road tests for all non-commercial vehicle licences, such as Class 5, are set to resume once phase two of the territory’s reopening plan starts.

Ryan Parry, director of transport service, spoke with the News on June 4 about the state of road tests.

Since mid-March, the Motor Vehicles branch has been only conducting road tests for critical and essential workers. The tests that have been going on were commercial tests for ambulance drivers, firefighters or truckers.

There have not been any Class 5 or motorcycle road tests during that time.

“The decision was made based on the physical distancing practices recommended by the chief medical officer of health and to protect both the public and Motor Vehicles staff during the early days of the pandemic,” Parry said.

Written tests for Class 5 and motorcycle licences were still available during this time period.

Parry said there is a plan to offer all road tests again once phase two comes into place. Phase two is projected to begin on July 1, depending on the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 in the territory.

Road tests will be available three days a week, from Tuesdays to Thursdays.

“When we start that, commercial tests and cancelled tests will be our first priority,” Parry said.

He indicated that Motor Vehicles will be reaching out to people who had cancellations to rebook road tests. He did not say when the calls would be made, but estimated the backlog would be cleared in two weeks.

He clarified that the first two weeks are not reserved for the back log, as anyone looking to get a road test can still book one once phase two kicks off.

The road tests will be done in safe environments as per orders of the chief medial officer, with the driver and tester wearing masks. Drivers will have to thoroughly clean their vehicles prior showing up for the test. Before hitting the road, there will be a wipe down of all surfaces that could be touched by the examiner.

Examiners are provided with a seat cover, a mask and hand sanitizer.

“There is certainly some specific personal protective equipment, spacing and cleaning protocols,” Parry said.

The two-metre distancing is to be maintained whenever possible, excluding the time spend in the vehicle. This would apply during vehicle walk-around and when doing paperwork, for example.

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com

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