Service change nothing to do with speed limits says ICBC

Brett Robertson

ICBC has clarified its plan to do license testing in Tumbler Ridge.

According to Sam Corea, Senior Communications Specialist from ICBC, “Class Five testing will continue” in Tumbler Ridge. However, the testing will continue at a much reduced rate.

Class Seven testing for new drivers will continue, as will Class Five. “We are making some changes in the way that tests are delivered”, says Corea. “Test days will be scheduled monthly or bi-monthly … but the service remains in the community.”

Eliminated will be testing for classes one through four.

He says ICBC is trying to be “operationally efficient … by offering Class Five and class testing and re-exams. From January 2016 to the end of August, we did 11 Class Five tests in Tumbler Ridge,” he says.

Does this have anything to do with lack of 50 kph roads? No, says Corea. “There was nothing about [speed limits]; it’s just about demand. The demand isn’t huge [in Tumbler Ridge]. We are revisiting this decision to make sure we have an appropriate level of testing, and working with community to determine efficient ways to do that.”

This contradicts a verbal report from Councillor Will Howe, who says he talked to the people who do testing for ICBC, who said they were stopping the service in town due to the town’s speed limit. “I was getting insurance the day the new speed limit signs went up, and the driving instructor said he wouldn’t be able to do tests in town, because there wasn’t adequate roads that were 50 kph,” said Howe at the September 12 Policies and Priorities Meeting. “The guy from ICBC thought the speed limits were 50 kph throughout town. If that’s the case, if the speed limit is 30 kph unless otherwise posted. Is council willing to lose another service?”

Councillor Darryl Krakowka supports Howe, quoting from an email that was forwarded to him from the ICBC employees: “it [the e-mail] states right in it that they didn’t talk about anything else, they talk directly about the speed zones, about not being able to see the young adults or adults that are going for the class 5 [driver’s licenses]… slow down to a speed limit and then doing the increase at a certain time… they say that’s a big issue: not being able to see the people react to the two speed zones.”

This information, however, should have no effect on the new speed limits along Northgate, Southgate, and Pioneer Loop, which will go into effect once the new signs arrive.