Testing, Testing

Never enjoyed them. Tests, especially multiple choice tests. You know going into a multiple choice test that for every question the correct answer is literally right in front of you. You just have to find it.

Here is an example:

Which of these offences will result in a licence suspension of one year?
A. Committing a shoplifting offence with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.8
B. Being in control of a boat with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.8
C. Walking on the street with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.8
D. Riding on a train with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.8

The correct answer?

B. Being in control of a boat with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.8.

I know, I know. Right about now you are asking yourself, what, pray tell, does this have to do with the RV lifestyle?

If you operate a Class A Diesel Pusher in Ontario, it has everything to do with the RV lifestyle. This question is one of hundreds that you might find on the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) written test which you must pass to drive, or to continue driving, your motorcoach.

My CDL is up for renewal in March of 2020. I have to retake all of the written tests for my Class D and my Z (air brake endorsement) as part of the renewal process. That test must be done in person in Ontario. Since I will be in Florida in March of 2020, I have to take those tests before I leave Canada.

Oh the joys of living in an over-regulated province.

Why is it that a retired senior, driving a motor coach perhaps 5,000 to 10,000 miles a year, is subject to the same requirements as a truck driver hauling commercial goods on a daily basis? There really should be some form of a restricted license that is specific to the requirements related to safely operating a diesel pusher.

But no.

You have to ingest all sorts of minutiae to answer questions like this one:

For maximum fuel efficiency, when driving at high speed you should…?
A. Open your right-hand window
B. Use your air-conditioning
C. Open both windows
D. Open your left hand window

The correct answer is B. Although one could debate whether maximum fuel efficiency is ever achieved when driving at an undefined “high speed”. Not up for debate? You would be cooler when driving quickly in your motorcoach with the air conditioning turned on.

The laws in Ontario were changed in July of 2018 (I have highlighted the section that applies to me):

When your licence is due for renewal, you will get a renewal application form either via e-mail or mail. Drivers under the age of 80 with class A, B, C, E or F and drivers over the age of 65 with a class D licence must pass a vision and knowledge test in order to renew their licence usually every five years.

Effective July 1, 2018, requirements for class D drivers under the age of 65 have changed. Drivers under age 65 will be required to pass a vision test and knowledge test in order to renew their licence.

Drivers aged 65 to 79 with class A, B, C, D, E or F licences are required to pass a vision, knowledge and road test in the event of an at-fault collision or the accumulation of three or more demerit points. For those commercial drivers with an air brake endorsement, the written air brake test has been aligned with the written knowledge test cycle, and the practical air brake test is only required when a road test is triggered. Drivers 80 and over with Class A, B, C, D, E or F licences are required to pass a vision, knowledge and road test prior to renewing their licence.

Commercial-class licence holders, depending on their age, are required to periodically submit a satisfactory medical report to maintain their commercial licence, or otherwise be downgraded to a Class G licence (refer to Medical Reporting). Effective July 1, 2018 class D drivers will also be required to periodically submit and pass a medical report to maintain their class D licence, or otherwise be downgraded to a class G licence.

If any tests are required, you must attend a DriveTest Centre to complete the tests and renew your licence. If no tests are required, you must renew your licence in person at any ServiceOntario centre. Take the form into any ServiceOntario centre in the province. They are all equipped to take photographs. You will be asked to sign the form, show identification, pay a fee and have your photograph taken. You will get a temporary licence on the spot if your application and documents are in order, and your permanent one will be mailed to you. You must carry it with you whenever you drive, and produce it when a police officer requests it.

If you do not get a renewal application form in the mail when your licence is due for renewal, call the Ministry of Transportation. You are responsible for making sure you have a valid driver’s licence.

If your licence has been suspended, cancelled or expired for more than three years, you will be required to re-apply for a licence in Ontario and meet all the requirements of graduated licensing, including passing all the required tests. Only then will you be eligible to re-apply for any commercial-class licences.

I have three weeks remaining before we leave the province. Aside from everything else on the go, this one is a bit of a pain to fit in as it will take a fair amount of time to read through all of the material, run through several dozen practice tests online and then spend the better part of a day in a crowded DriveTest Centre to complete the tests and renew the licence.

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