Video shows alleged cheating during written B.C. driver's tests
CTV News Vancouver has obtained video allegedly showing would-be drivers cheating while taking their written knowledge tests.
Surveillance camera footage from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia appears to show several people using various means to pass the test, including a woman who texted a friend for the answer.
"She takes out her phone. That's not allowed. There are no electronic devices permitted in the testing area," ICBC's Joanna Linsangan said of the video.
The woman takes a photo of the test and sends it to a friend. But by the time she gets a text back, ICBC's security has already been alerted.
"So that was a fail," Linsangan said.
Another man captured on camera tried harder to hide his phone, keeping it close to his body so it's barely visible from the camera. But Linsangan says he was caught within a few minutes.
"We've got eyes on you at all times. We're watching!" she said.
She told CTV News that ICBC has purposely made it hard for people to cheat. There are crashes reported every day in B.C., and the insurance provider is trying to make sure anyone granted a licence has knowledge of the rules.
Those caught breaking the rules are forced to leave without finishing the test, then they're put on a "time out" for 30 days, Linsangan said. Anyone caught cheating a second time is on probation for another 60 days, will have to sit down with an officer and will have their name flagged.
That flag will follow drivers in future transactions with ICBC. Whether it's a licence renewal or something more serious, "we'll be taking a closer look at any transaction," Linsangan said.
In one instance, a man caught cheating had just taken a photo of question 40 out of 50. He had 39 answers right, and 10 wrong.
"He was at a critical point… You could see through his physical gestures that he was really stumped on this question," Linsangan said.
"It looked like he was trying to reach out to a lifeline - take a photo, get an answer. That never ended up happening for him. We stopped it, he ended up failing."
Another person came in with an answer key. He'd purchased the answers to 50 questions for $200.
The answer key was seized, but it likely wouldn't have helped him anyway.
"What he didn't realize is that the knowledge test is randomized… The sequence changes with every single customer," Linsangan said.
"Stupidity knows no bounds," Kurtis Strelau of Young Drivers of Canada said of the videos.
He said there's a serious side to cheating, because if a driver doesn't know the rules, they could be dangerous.
"If they have to cheat to get that far, we can only question the quality of driving they're going to end up with," he said.
In 2017, 258,000 people took the knowledge test, and 57 per cent passed. Another 43 per cent failed, but could take the test again.
Her advice for anyone taking the test is simple: would-be drivers just need to study.
"It's the rules of the road and a lot of common sense," she said.
ICBC offers a test online for new drivers and those looking to brush up on the rules. Strelau recommends anyone preparing to take their test through ICBC run through the online version repeatedly until they're consistently successful.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Jon Woodward