DriveABLE BC driving people to distraction

Dear editor.

Re: Removing someone's driver's licence not done lightly (Record, March 26).

Dear editor.

Re: Removing someone’s driver’s licence not done lightly (Record, March 26).

I would like to thank Betty Wiegerinck for starting this discussion about DriveABLE BC.

In a response from Stephanie Melvin, deputy superintendent of Motor Vehicles, she addresses the issue as “removal not done lightly.”

I disagree.

I am 51 years old, far from a senior (as far as any senior benefits go) and three years ago took some sleep tests to figure out sleep apnea (a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing during sleep).

Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from at least 10 seconds to minutes, and may occur five to 30 times or more an hour.

Similarly, each abnormally low-breathing event is called a hypopnea. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or “sleep study.”

While answering a questionnaire, I chose a “wrong” answer about feeling sleepy behind the wheel. Bad mistake.

Because of this, after three sleep tests in Nanaimo, where they could not test properly because of my inability to sleep while attached to the machinery, licence revoked! I was 48.

Since then, with over and over apnea testing, handing over my SIMcard from my apnea machine, they still cannot get it together enough to return my licence.

My last Oximetry test shows me as being as normal as the next person. I have never fallen asleep randomly during the day (this is known as narcolepsy).

I got a letter yesterday from BCService to fill out, one more time, with my doctor. If this attempt passes, I have an almost $500 bill through ICBC to pay, even though I was unlicensed and they continued to take money from my bank account for insurance.

So, Ms. Melvin, this is not only seniors, this is an “age not required” issue, a misworded test issue.

I am tired of having people drive me all over for the past three years. I am tired of people giving me the runaround, first off the doctor at the sleep clinic. (Maybe I should not use the word tired!).

To him, shame. To me, shame for taking so long to right a clear wrong.

To the DMV? Double shame for shaming people into non-driving. Ms. Betty Wiegerinck, I feel your pain.

Helen Henderson,


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