Road tests. Everyone hates them. After all, you are literally driving around with a stranger in the passenger seat passive aggressively judging every decision you make and nearly causing you to drive off the road every time they make another mark on the paper that will decide whether or not you’re going to drive. They are nerve wracking and I, for one, would be perfectly happy to never have to go on another road test in my life. One was good enough thank you very much.
Of course, according to Alberta law, one road test only authorizes me to hold a GDL (Graduated Driver’s License). Which means that I have a couple restrictions on my license. Is it really worth it to have to go through the torture of one more test just to get some extra perks?
Some people might think not, but let’s look at what you get when you take that advanced road test and pass:
More demerit points. May seem like a small thing, but demerit points do lead to suspensions. And when every time you get pulled over you’re looking at two to three demerit points, they add up pretty quick. This means that you could find yourself without a driver’s license much sooner than you expected. Having those extra points (GDL has 8, full has 15) could mean the difference between driving to work and taking transit.
Blood Alcohol level. I’m not saying you can drive drunk (and you really shouldn’t, no matter how sober you think you might be) with a full license you are allowed to have that one drink with dinner you can’t have with a GDL. A glass of wine might be the perfect compliment to your meal, but have it with GDL and you’re looking at a suspension.
Teaching someone to drive. This might not seem like a big thing at the moment, but take a look down the road and you might see why having your full license is important. With a GDL you don’t get to be the person in the front seat grasping the door handle in terror as you paste on a shaky smile to assure the person driving that they’re doing just fine. Sound horrible to you? Imagine it’s your kid in the front seat!!
No commercial classes. Thinking you might want to be a trucker in the future? Taxi driver? Bus driver? None of these are possible with a GDL. You need to pass that advanced road test first before you can even take the knowledge test for any of the commercial classes of licenses.
If none of these things make you want to take the test, then consider this final point: The government is considering making it mandatory to take the advanced test after a certain amount of years. Nothing has been put in place yet, but it might come down to the wire.
One road test to gain all of these perks doesn’t seem so bad when you take a closer look. And if you are worried about passing, there are all sorts of courses out there that let you brush up on your driving skills.