REGINA -- Road tests will be available for people working in agriculture and health care starting next week, according to Saskatchewan Government Insurance.

The Crown says modified road tests will be available for people wanting to get a Class 2, 4 or 5 licence in those sectors. Class 5 drivers can operate “regular vehicles.” Class 4 drivers can operate ambulances, taxis and limos. Class 2 drivers can operate vehicles holding more than 24 people.

“We recognize that some people have a pressing need for a driver’s licence,” Kwei Quaye, SGI Vice President of Traffic Safety, said in a news release. “Health-care workers are providing essential care and we need to ensure they can operate the required vehicles or drive to work or other locations to provide important medical services. Agriculture has been deemed critical to ensure food production continues; seeding is underway and having drivers to support this sector helps ensure a secure food supply chain.”

SGI says it will offer a maximum of 140 road tests per week province wide. Testing centres will operate in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Swift Current, North Battleford and Yorkton.

Tests will start on May 11. SGI says it will be contacting around 4,500 people outside of the agriculture and health care sectors to reschedule appointments when pandemic restrictions came into effect.

Testing capacity will likely increase to 320 per week in early June, SGI says. There will also be testing available in Meadow Lake, Humboldt, Weyburn, Kindersley, Lloydminster, Tisdale, Estevan and Moose Jaw next month.

Appointments are only available to people working in health care or agriculture, or if they had their tests cancelled due to the pandemic.

SGI says it will likely be a while before new appointments can be made.

Instead of sitting in the vehicle with the test subjects, examiners will travel behind the applicant in a trail vehicle for the test. Instructions will be given to the student through a handsfree cell phone.

Class 5 applicants need to have a supervising driver who lives in the same household. The supervising driver is there for safety and can’t help the applicant during their test.

SGI will also provide a dash camera to record the driver.

Results of the test will be provided in one business day.

People will need to apply to take a road test on SGI’s website. They will be notified by email if they qualify and to schedule an appointment.

Road tests were suspended in March to keep customers and employees safe.