I would like to thank Betty Wiegerinck for bringing her concerns about DriveABLE to my attention. (Still grovelling and fighting about driving test, Record, March 18).
We will be reaching out to her to address her concerns.
I would also like to take this opportunity to explain how the DriveABLE program works.
Let me assure you, the decision to remove a person’s driving privileges is never taken lightly. We understand it is upsetting and life-altering to lose a licence.
At age 80, every driver in British Columbia completes a driver medical examination with their doctor.
Only people with suspected cognitive issues, who account for just two per cent of the medical examinations the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) reviews annually, are referred for a DriveABLE assessment. Government pays the full cost of this assessment.
We recognize seniors may feel anxious about being assessed. That is why, last year, we worked with the Counsel of Senior Citizens’ Organizations to enhance the DriveABLE program and include more supports for seniors.
More time is now given to complete an in-office assessment, and people may bring a companion who can meet the assessor, observe and provide support during the practice time, and ask questions.
Seniors who do not pass the in-office assessment can also take an on-road evaluation through one of 28 DriveABLE locations across B.C. The combined results of the in-office assessment, on-road evaluation, and the driver’s medical information allow us to make fair decisions about seniors’ driving.
Again, we understand this issue is difficult for seniors and their families. Our goal at the OSMV is to help seniors drive as long and as safely as possible.
Editor’s note: Stephanie Melvin is the deputy superintendent of Motor Vehicles.