Top 5 Reasons People Fail the Road Test

Posted on: Feb 10, 2018
student and instructor conducting a driving test

Alberta Road Test Disqualifications

The Alberta Road Test is designed to evaluate your ability to drive safely in a variety of traffic situations. For that reason, every test route in the province will go through controlled and uncontrolled intersections, four way stops, railways crossings, school zones, etc. Sometimes seasoned drivers have to take a road test and are surprised when they don’t pass the first time. The reason is that many of us have bad habits that we have picked up over time. Every Driver Examiner in Alberta uses a checklist developed by Alberta Transportation and they have received extensive training on how to assign points and assess driving skills.

Having said that, at East Calgary Registry we really don’t like to see people fail the road test, especially when it is someone who generally has good vehicle control and judgement. The following are the Top 5 Reasons that people get an “automatic fail” on their road test.

1. Exceeding the Speed Limit

Speeding is an automatic fail. It’s also important not to drive too slowly, as you can lose points for obstructing the flow of traffic. For this reason, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the speed limits in the area around Registries Plus so that you will be confident about how fast you should be driving. Remember as well that you can lose points for driving too fast for the road conditions – if the roads are snowy or icy on the day of your test, you will need to adjust your speed accordingly to show that you have adequate judgement (and to make sure you don’t get into an accident on your road test!).

2. Failing to show caution at an uncontrolled intersection

Every test route must take you through at least one uncontrolled intersection. You need to look both ways, demonstrate caution and show that you are prepared to brake. This is a lesser known test disqualification, but we do sometimes hear about it from disappointed customers after their road tests.

3. Rolling stops

Stop means stop. Your wheels must stop moving. Many experienced drivers are in the habit of coming to a rolling stop, but this won’t cut it for a road test. Your wheels need to be still. It’s also critical that you stop before the line or crosswalk proceeding the sign, if there is one. If there is no line or crosswalk, you must stop before the intersection.

4. Climbing the curb

Whether you are turning or parking, climbing the curb is an automatic fail.  Because of the cost of road testing, we advise that you don’t book your road test until you are able to parallel park 100% of the time without climbing the curb.

5. Failing to yield to a car or pedestrian

It’s really important to know who has the right of way in every traffic situation you might encounter. When driving, it is your responsibility to scan the road and sidewalks ahead to anticipate when you might need to stop. It is an automatic fail if don’t yield to a pedestrian or vehicle when required to do so. On the other hand, you can lose points for being too cautious or stopping at a controlled intersection when you have the right of way. Read the Driver’s Manual that you studied before your Class 7 Knowledge test to brush up on all of the possible scenarios.


We wish you the best of luck on your Road Test. Call us at 403.272.5513.

Road Test booking will be available starting December 1, 2020 for tests on or after January 5, 2021.