Still grovelling and fighting about driving test

Dear editor,

You can’t fight the government but at least you can grovel and grumble.

Dear editor,

You can’t fight the government but at least you can grovel and grumble.

I became 80 years of age in 2011 and things really began to happen.

ICBC alerted my doctor that I needed a check up and driving test re cognition abilities (computer) towards my driving licence. I was called in for my computer test for Sept. 15, 2011.

My husband died on Sept. 7, 2011 – could his death influence my test result? I failed. Also I had the problem of the low seat and bifocal glasses.

Oh, yes. I suspected I failed — so I shut up and grumbled to myself for a time.

In March 2012, Minister Shirley Bond announced changes to the DriveABLE program — tests will be taken closer to your home and the charge of $336 would be cancelled. Also, it was decided that if a person failed the DriveABLE test, they could apply for a road test.

In the spring of 2012 I wrote to the superintendent of motor vehicles to arrange for a road test and I also had some refresher driving lessons.

Finally a road test was arranged for Oct. 24, 2012. So about noon hour, I took my road test with a local tester, who was working for DriveABLE.

This test was a whole year after my computer screen test so, unfortunately, it was a year since I had driven.

I felt calm and quite confident on the test, but the tester talked a lot. He told some offensive jokes and also about photographing a couple having sex on the beach.

I was uncomfortable and eventually I asked him to be quiet. I said, “You should not talk like this; you should only be telling me which road to take and where to turn.”

After the test I looked at an ICBC brochure entitled “need a driver re-exam,” which states that ‘the examiner will not engage in conversation so that you can give your full attention to your driving and the examiner can focus on observing and evaluating your skills.’

It also states that the examiner will, after the 45 minute test, ‘give you some feedback on your driving strengths and weaknesses.’  My examiner did not do this.

I waited for a reply about a month. I wrote to the OSMV branch on Nov. 16, 2012. I received a letter from the Driver Fitness Unit of OSMV in early December 2012, which stated that it was not safe for me to drive.

Their final report just marked an X in the box “impaired.” The commentary next to this box states, “The number and severity of competence defining errors are beyond the acceptable range of normal. Continuing to drive places the safety of themselves and others at risk.”

I was not given any more information as to what errors I made or what made my driving unsafe.

I was told if I needed more information that I could try the “freedom of Information office” and was given a fax number. I sent three faxed letters to the Freedom of Information Office requesting information about why I failed the road test and mentioning the inappropriate behavior of the tester.

I have not received any response from these faxes, which covered the period from January 2013 to the present date.

My car was parked for a year insured — I finally took the insurance off and sold it. This is expensive, adding to the frustration of waiting almost a year for the road test.

I feel the motor vehicle branch waits in silent hope that we “oldies” will give up and die at 80 years of age. Give us a break. You’ll all be 80 years old one day.

Betty Wiegerinck,

Courtenay

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