Williams Lake is one of 13 communities that will begin providing the DriveABLE service this year.
Together with Campbell River, Duncan, Penticton, Port Alberni, Powell River, Salmon Arm, Terrace, and Vernon, Williams Lake will provide the service closer to clients, helping reduce travel for drivers who are referred to take the cognitive assessment.
It’s an expansion that will nearly double the number of communities providing this service, bringing it up to 28 from a previous level of 15 in 2011, the government says.
Four other service centres – Chilliwack, Cranbrook, North Vancouver and Richmond – opened earlier this year.
The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) refers clients to DriveABLE primarily as a result of medical practitioner’s concerns about an individual’s cognitive abilities in regards to safe driving. In 2011, out of 140,000 driver medical fitness examinations, about 2,700 or two per cent of those drivers were required to undertake the assessment. Government covers the cost of both the in-office and on-road assessments for all drivers that are referred.
DriveABLE assessments in Williams Lake will be based out of the local Service BC office. Client levels at all locations will be monitored to assess how best to provide accessible, cost-effective assessments – particularly in northern and Interior communities which in the past have had very few DriveABLE clients.
“It’s great to be able to offer this service here in Williams Lake, cutting down the distance people have to travel to do their DriveABLE assessments,” Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says.