Cheating on a test at school is bad, but cheating on a test that gets you behind the wheel of a two-tonne vehicle is something else.
That doesn’t stop people from trying on their written driver’s licence tests, ICBC says.
The insurance corporation has released four videos showing four cases of cheating at driving service centres in the Lower Mainland, including two instances by the same woman.
ICBC spokesperson Joanna Linsangan said the hope is that aspiring drivers are encouraged to put in the time to study, read the manual, and take the online practice test.
“If there is one test you wouldn’t want to cheat on, it’s this one, because the consequences of cheating on this one are far greater than a math test,” she said.
“You not knowing the rules of the road could land you [or someone else] in the hospital with a broken bone.”
Most of the cheating caught on the surveillance footage involves smartphones. In one case, a woman can be seen first using her phone to look at saved photos of practice test answers. In another instance, the same woman is seen taking photos of the driver’s test, possibly for a friend.
A man is seen using what appears to be an answer key from a previous test.
Answer keys or saved photos won’t offer much help, Linsangan said, even if the person doesn’t get caught. The system that runs the test uses several tools to combat cheating.
First, there’s a large bank of questions to choose from. The order of questions selected and sequence of multiple choice options are also reordered with every new test.
The driving centres also use facial recognition, making it nearly impossible for someone to have another person stand in for them to take their test.
Fortunately, Linsangan said cheating doesn’t happen very often, and ICBC undergoes regular internal audits that include checking surveillance footage at each driving centre.
Roughly 300,000 crashes are reported each year in B.C. With crash rates increasing steadily over the past five years, she said the training is more important than ever.
“What we really want to stress is it’s absolutely imperative to have this knowledge.”