Many a senior is going to sleep better with the government’s announcement that the DriveABLE program has been adjusted. And I want to congratulate all of those on both sides of the house who have fought so hard to convince the government to make those changes.
However, the question remains: why do we need an expensive program like DriveABLE, a program that can only get even more tax-dollar demanding as the government attempts to resolve issues like increasing the locations where the DriveABLE on-screen testing can take place?
I personally am still committed to demanding a survey be done, of people over 80’s driving habits. If ICBC does not at this time know factually how many seniors are directly responsible for accidents and how much time these seniors are on the road, my position is that the reason why DriveABLE was introduced is more based on demographic projections, not facts.
I am convinced that the majority of drivers older than 80 is self extinguishing, and they are driving less and less as they age, until at some point the great majority of 80-plus drivers just quit driving, although they may be still licensed to drive. Of the 1,500 people who were required to take the DriveABLE exam, according to Minister Shirley Bond, I project that most were misdiagnosed with cognitive issues.
Again, of this targeted group, several of these drivers either voluntarily gave up their license rather than face the stress of driving to some strange city on highways and in conditions that they normally do not drive on, or failed the DriveABLE exam when they got there. Some have just not found the psychological fight to retain their license all that worth while.
Doctors need to be trained to properly present the in-office Simard MD test as part of the required physical for those 80 and over. The government is quick to blame doctors for this current DriveABLE fiasco and point out that it is the doctors’ interpretation of the Simard MD exam that triggers the requirement for someone to take the DriveABLE exam. The in-office Simard MD test supposedly evaluates four abilities needed for driving: memory, attention, judgment and decision-making.
Momentary memory lapses, distractions, and incorrect responses change your score, triggering the DriveABLE exam.