Letters: tests are unsuitable

DriveABLE test is not suitable for assessing driving ability

Below are some comments on “Knowing when it’s time to hang up the keys,” May 15, 2013, for your interest.

Your recent article on B.C.’s DriveABLE test may leave your readers with a somewhat incomplete understanding of this compulsory screening process for seniors.

As I have not heard the speaker myself, I am unable to say whether the reasons for this are the speaker’s remarks themselves or possibly inaccurate reporting. Whatever they are, the report falls somewhat short of presenting an accurate, complete or balanced picture of the various steps of the process, and certainly no evidence to support the claim that its objective is “keeping safe drivers on the road.”

In fact, the two (not one) compulsory standardized “virtual” tests for seniors – but not the actual driving assessment — have been widely reviewed and almost universally deemed unsuitable and inappropriate for use as driving ability assessments, except by those who have a vested interest in or material benefit from them, i.e. the provinces of Alberta (where they originated and are in use) and B.C. (where both have become obligatory), and their Albertan inventors.

Those of your readers interested in more (and more realistic) information about these controversial tests may wish to consult an opinion piece by Black Press columnist Brian Kieran, Monday Magazine, Oct.27, 2011. Various reports over the years by other Black Press or independent community papers are easily available from the always informed and obliging Ms. Google. The March 2011 B.C. Medical Journal, an informal but telling evaluation of the DriveABLE exam conducted by the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society, is also available on the Internet. And finally, if I may be so immodest, Part 1 of my own article which explores this issue (and in subsequent parts B.C. senior care in general) in some depth is available at www.lotuslandblog.ca.

It documents the complete test process in detail, as well as the above references and others. It reflects the status quo as it was about a year ago and likely still is today, except for the improbable (but always possible) event of some major change or revision having occurred to the program since then, other than what may well be little more than a PR exercise by the OSMV (Office of the Supervisor of Motor Vehicles) to counter the extensive critical response to it.

Paul Wagner

Sooke

Just Posted

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike in Victoria delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Most Read