Nine new driving testing centres added in B.C.

Government is opening nine more locations for DriveABLE, helping to reduce travel for drivers, including seniors.

Government is opening nine more locations for DriveABLE, helping to reduce travel for those drivers, including seniors, who are referred to take the functional cognitive assessment.

The number of locations has grown to 28 from 15 in 2011, with new locations just added in Campbell River, Duncan, Penticton, Port Alberni, Powell River, Salmon Arm, Terrace, Vernon and Williams Lake. Earlier this year, DriveABLE service

centres opened in Chilliwack, Cranbrook, North Vancouver and Richmond.

The 28 communities that now have DriveABLE locations are: Abbotsford, Burnaby, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Courtenay, Cranbrook, Dawson Creek, Duncan, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langford, Nanaimo, Nelson, North Vancouver, Penticton, Port Alberni, Powell River, Prince George, Richmond, Salmon Arm, Sechelt, Surrey, Terrace, Vancouver, Vernon, Victoria and Williams Lake.

The majority of referrals to DriveABLE by the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) stem from reports to OSMV from medical practitioners who are concerned about an individual’s cognitive abilities related to safe driving.

In 2011, OSMV reviewed 140,000 driver medical examination reports, requiring about 2,700 or two per cent of those drivers to undertake the assessment.

Government covers the cost of both the in-office and on-road assessments for all drivers it refers.

Further to the improvements made to the existing DriveABLE cognitive assessment service, government also posted today a Request for Expressions of Interest seeking qualified vendors interested in delivering functional driver cognitive assessment services in the future.

This will provide suppliers of cognitive assessment services with the opportunity to come forward and express interest in the contracting for this crucial public safety service. The goal of this process, which closes Nov. 7, is to ensure the best value for taxpayers.

“While a very small number of seniors actually require the driveable assessment, we will continue to look for ways to improve service, expand locations and provide information to families when a cognitive assessment is required,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

Quick Facts:

• DriveABLE assessments are distinct from the driver medical examination reports

that all drivers must complete with their medical practitioner at age 80 and every two years thereafter.

• Of 140,000 driver medical examination reports reviewed by OSMV in 2011, only about 2,700 drivers, or about two per cent, were referred for a DriveABLE cognitive assessment. These figures are up from 130,000 driver medical and 1,500

DriveABLE assessments in 2010.

• The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles only refers drivers with cognitive function concerns, as reported in most cases by their physician, to take a DriveABLE assessment.

The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles’ DriveABLE page is at

www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/osmv/driveable.

The Request for Expressions of Interest in providing DriveABLE services is posted at www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca.

— Ministry of Justice