Crash rate 22% higher for Brampton drivers taking road tests outside city limits: auditor general


Published December 8, 2023 at 10:15 am

brampton driver crash
A crash in downtown Brampton on October 31, 2017.

A group of Brampton drivers who took road tests in rural areas are crashing at a rate significantly higher than those who get licensed at test centres in the city.

The numbers come from an Auditor General’s report released this week that found novice drivers from urban centres who take road exams at rural or suburban test centres had higher collision rates, signalling that Ontario’s driver examination program “may not be effectively testing their ability to drive safely on Ontario’s roads.”

In Brampton, the report found that novice drivers who took their road tests at a DriveTest Centre outside Brampton between January 2022 and March 2023 had a collision rate 22 per cent higher than their peers who took their tests in Brampton at 3.8 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively.

The pattern of drivers heading elsewhere for tests was so common that a DriveTest Centre in Guelph saw more clients from Brampton than from Guelph. The Guelph centre administered over 56,000 road tests in 2022 while the Brampton DriveTest Centre had around 49,000, but with a population roughly one-fifth the size of Bampton the report called this a “disproportionately high number.”

The numbers were even more skewed in Orangeville where 42 per cent of drivers who took their road tests were from Brampton while only 2 per cent were from Orangeville.

“We found that collision rates within 15 months after receiving a driver’s licence were between 16% and 27% higher among novice drivers from urban areas who chose to travel for their road tests to areas that were more rural or suburban,” the report reads.

Of the more than 95,650 Brampton drivers who passed road tests between January 2022 and March 2023 only 23,337 of them took their tests in Brampton.

Despite rumours and social media posts claiming it’s easier to get your licence in Brampton, the report found rural centres often have “have less complex road test routes and higher pass rates.”

The report found DriveTest Centres in urban areas like Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto had pass rates that were lower than those in rural or suburban areas, such as Peterborough, Lindsay and Simcoe.

The findings have led to recommendations for the Ministry of Transportation to assess the impact novice drivers from urban areas taking their road tests at rural and suburban DriveTest Centres has on road safety, and bring in restrictions that block urban novice drivers from taking their test at a centre outside of where they live, work or study.

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