DriveABLE tests unfair to seniors

Seniors are suffering a psychological epidemic of major proportions; if this were a health epidemic there would be a rush to find solutions.


Seniors in British Columbia are suffering a psychological epidemic of major proportions; if this were a health epidemic there would be a rush to find solutions.

B.C. seniors are being singled out and are losing the right to drive in numbers far exceeding any other Canadian province. Are B.C. senior drivers that bad? All it takes, rightly or wrongly, is a doctor’s squiggle on an 80s or older seniors-required medical exam to trigger some bureaucrat in Victoria to chase these drivers often hundreds of kilometers to take a test called DriveABLE.

The DriveABLE exam is a group of algorithms, a mathematical formula that measures various aspects of the subject’s responses to what appears on the screen, simply a machine-generated, so-called scientific judgment of an individual’s cognitive (mental) ability. The derivative of this exam is numbers that a bureaucrat can then, based on these numbers, judge you fit to drive. Truly science out of a can, like going and getting one blood test and then being told that you now have cancer.

It is understandable that some, not all, senior drivers, in high-risk conditions may not react quickly enough in such conditions, but taking a license away from seniors who have already reduced their driving to shopping, attending seniors centers, medical appointments, and picking up pharmaceutical supplies, and who live beyond all other alternate forms of community transportation is ludicrous, unfair, stressful, creates financial hardship, and even requires some to forsake their family home.

In Canadian provinces like Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, there are no driver restrictions based on age.

In Alberta those 75 and older must have a medical at five-year renewal time; doctors only can prescribe a DriveABLE test.

Ontario has a Senior Driver Renewal program including a vision, knowledge, and in some cases a road test.

Quebec has a medical and vision evaluation at license renewal time; some restrictions such as daylight driving, and no freeway driving may apply.

Florida, U.S. requires an eye exam only.

Those 50 and over are a developing major voting block; politicians should immediately reevaluate this program and recall who actually elected them to office and again immediately end this unjustified, unequal treatment of British Columbia’s senior citizens. The rights of these former, hard-working British Columbian nation builders are being trampled like trash in a garbage can.


Doug Wilson

Williams Lake