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​Over 45,000 British Columbians jump to challenge & take the Drive Smart Refresher Test

August 3, 2018

In less than three weeks, over 45,000 British Columbians logged on to check their driving knowledge through ICBC's Drive Smart Refresher Test, and the results show that we could use some improvement. If the refresher test were treated like the knowledge test which requires a minimum score of 80 per cent to obtain a learner's licence, over 18,000 (40 per cent) would have failed.

Based on the completed tests, drivers had the most difficulty with what to do around emergency vehicles, minimum following distances, and the meaning of road signs.

Interestingly, questions related to texting while driving had near-perfect scores, yet over 34,000 drivers were ticketed for using an electronic device in 2017.*

"What's just as important as knowing the rules of the road is putting them into practice whenever you drive," said ICBC's interim vice-president responsible for road safety, Lindsay Matthews. "No matter how many years of experience you have under your belt, we can all benefit from shedding bad driving habits and refreshing our knowledge."

Here are some of the top questions that were answered incorrectly:

  • When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights on highways with speed limits of under 80 km/h, in addition to changing lanes, drivers must slow to: 40 km/h

  • When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights on highways with speed limits of 80 km/h or over, in addition to changing lanes, drivers must slow to: 70 km/h.

  • The minimum following distance when behind a large vehicle or a motorcycle on a high speed road, should be: 3 seconds.

  • The minimum following distance in bad weather or slippery conditions on high speed roads, should be: 4 seconds.

  • Drivers are required to yield to a public transit bus that is signaling to enter traffic: on all roads where the speed limit is 60km/h or lower.​

  • This sign means: school crosswalk, yield to pedestrians; if there is a crossing guard follow directions.

  • ​This sign, without a speed tab below, means: school zone - reduce speed when children are present.

  • This sign means: obstruction - keep left.

The number of crashes in B.C. peaked in 2017, with 350,000 crashes happening in the year, or 960 a day. The total cost of claims in 2017 was $4.8 billion, equivalent to $13 million a day. 

Drivers are encouraged to take the Drive Smart Refresher test at Other resources to help improve driving knowledge, such as driving guides, and a road signs practice test, are available on

*Based on 2017 data, as reported by police.

Media contact:

Joanna Linsangan