Health care and agriculture workers in Saskatchewan are now able to complete their road tests after COVID-19 restrictions put them on hold.
SGI has developed a modified procedure for tests for Class 5, 4 or 2 licenses. As of Monday, the tests are only available to workers in these two sectors, but will be expanded as capacity allows.
Class 5 licenses entitle drivers to operate a normal, private vehicle, while Class 4 licenses are for ambulances, taxis, limos, ridesharing vehicles and buses that seat 24 or fewer passengers and Class 2 is for buses that seat more than 24 passengers.
“We recognize that some people have a pressing need for a driver’s licence,” said Kwei Quaye, SGI Vice President of Traffic Safety.
“Health care workers are providing essential care and we need to ensure they can operate the required vehicles or drive to work or other locations to provide important medical services. Agriculture has been deemed critical to ensure food production continues; seeding is underway and having drivers to support this sector helps ensure a secure food supply chain.”
Initially, there will be a maximum of 140 road tests a week for health care and agriculture workers, split between centres in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina, Swift Current, North Battleford and Yorkton. This is because of enhanced safety protocols and equipment limitations.
As capacity allows, SGI will contact people outside of these sectors waiting for tests—approximately 4,500 people—to reschedule appointments.
With current restrictions, SGI expects testing capacity to increase to a maximum of 320 tests per week by early June. Availability will be expanded to include Meadow Lake, Humboldt, Weyburn, Kindersley, Lloydminster, Tisdale, Estevan and Moose Jaw.
SGI will continue to prioritize bookings for health care and agriculture workers, as well as customers that had their tests cancelled.
As road testing resumes, SGI is also reminding customers about safety protocols.
Since maintaining a proper distance isn’t possible in a vehicle, the examiner will follow the student in a separate vehicle, similar to how it’s conducting Class 1 and 3 tests.
Class 5 applicants will be accompanied by a supervising driver who lives in the same household. Class 4 and 2 applicants who already hold a Class 5 license do not require a supervisor.
The supervisor can’t help the student with the test and is only there as a safety precaution. SGI will provide a dash camera to record the driver and see out the windshield.
The examiner will give the student instructions through a hands-free cellphone. This is to be used for the test only, as new drivers are prohibited from using cellphones while on the road.
The SGI examiner will mark the test based on what was recorded on the camera and what they observed during the test. They will provide results within one business day.
To determine if you meet the criteria to take a road test, you’ll need to fill out an application at www.sgi.sk.ca/covid-19 under the ‘Driver Testing’ section.
Customers that qualify will be notified by email and must submit a signed agreement and waiver, along with a waiver from their supervising driver for Class 5 applicants.
SGI suspended all road testing back in mid-March as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Modified testing for commercial licenses, Class 1 and 3 drivers, resumed on Apr. 20.