Getting a driver’s license is a big step in life during someones teenage years; it is a milestone that is a huge accomplishment to some.
This past year, COVID-19 has stopped the dreams of teenagers who were looking forward to getting their licences because of the excessive number of cases in Ontario.
“I was looking forward to finally getting my full license this year,” said Brianna Di Mascio, Radio and Television Arts: Sport Media student at Ryerson University. “It’s getting a little frustrating because of how long I have to wait and the number of times I’ve had to reschedule.”
Having a license also provides great opportunities for jobs outside of the someones home area. Applying for jobs that requires traveling a far distance can be a burden because relying on others or public transit can be very annoying and frustrating.
“I want to get my license because I want to be able to do more things like going on trips or things like that; it makes everything a lot better,” 17-year-old Bryce Chapman said.
The COVID-19 pandemic first starting shutting down all Drive Test centres, effectively putting a halt to G1, G2 and G class tests in Dec., 2020. Many people got the last-minute cancellation email from their Drive Test centres, just days before their scheduled tests.
Since then, every test centre in the GTA has been overbooked until the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 which is shown on the driver’s test website when a driver registers.
Drivers still don’t know if they will be the first to get a call from their test centres to rebook their original slot.
Many young drivers, like Di Mascio, find the situation frustrating.
“I feel like we should get the opportunity to go first when things start to open up again.” Di Mascio said. “We were the first tests to get cancelled, so we should be the first ones to get a call from the test centers for rescheduled tests.”
“We know that these measures may be a serious inconvenience for people waiting for a road test. However, these are unprecedented times and our number one priority remains protecting the health and safety of individuals, families and workers,” Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney told the press.
Some people that had the intention of getting their licenses this year have already purchased their own vehicles to drive. Bryce Chapman expected to be one of those people but was cut short.
“I’m paying for it, but I can’t drive it,” he said of purchasing a brand-new car last month.
Because of the now-extended stay-at-home order premier Doug Ford announced on April 16, there has been no sign of reopening Drive Test centres in the coming months.
Drivers will have to continue to wait and keep an eye open for rescheduling tests in the province.