Some B.C. drivers desperate to pass their road test are attempting to bribe test examiners, a CBC investigation has revealed.
Documents obtained through a freedom-of-information request to ICBC show that there were at least five attempts in 2013 to bribe ICBC employees working at their driver licensing offices.
On average there are eight bribery attempts made each year. The amount involved in the attempted briberies ranges from $50 to more than $300.
- Listen to The Early Edition Thursday at 7:10 a.m. for an interview with a former ICBC driving examiner about what happened when he was offered a bribe.
'There should be consequences for illegal activity and it appears that there were no consequences, or there were very muted consequences' - Mable Elmore, NDP critic for ICBC
So far, only one of the five cases investigated by CBC has resulted in a charge; in each case, ICBC employees reported the incident to their supervisor and any money received was turned over as evidence.
ICBC says it's not about to waste policyholders’ money if there's little chance of success in court.
The Crown corporation indicates that there have been five convictions for bribery attempts in the last five years, with one person paying a $5,000 fine and given six months probation.
A bribery report from one ICBC employee highlights what can transpire:
“He then opened up the glove compartment and showed me the money which was all in twenty dollar bills. To clarify what he said, I asked him, ‘So you are going to give me $300 to pass you?’ He replied yes and I asked him to take the money and hand it to me. I put the money on my clipboard and told him that we would be going back to the office. Upon walking into the office, I asked the client to have a seat and I went immediately to my supervisor (redacted) and informed him of the bribe.”
Even without a criminal conviction, there are consequences for attempted bribery, according to ICBC spokesperson Adam Grossman.
“You will be told your licence is on hold. You will be told that that will be put on your driving record. You will be told you can't take another road test while you are under investigation. Hopefully, for the very rare cases where that happens, that is pretty strong deterrent for anyone to try it again.”
But the NDP critic for ICBC, Mable Elmore, wonders if enough is being done to deter offenders.
“One of the issues that is important is that there should be consequences for illegal activity and it appears that there were no consequences, or there were very muted consequences. I think those are outstanding questions that need to be answered.”