Changes coming to driving assessment for at-risk seniors in B.C.

Changes coming to driving assessment for at-risk seniors in B.C.

WATCH: B.C.’s public safety minister says it will replace computer test “DriveABLE” for an extended road test. There concerns this will mean even longer waits at ICBC. Isabelle Raghem reports. 

The road assessment that determines whether drivers can safely remain at the wheel will be changed next year.

Beginning in March 2018, ICBC will deliver the new “Enhanced Road Assessment” (ERA) to drivers who RoadSafetyBC determines need a functional road assessment regarding their medical fitness to drive safely. This could be at-risk seniors or others with health problems referred by a doctor or by a police report.

?The enhanced road assessment puts the focus more sharply on whether someone?s still safe to drive their vehicle, and it?s conducted in a way that?s more accessible and will improve safety,? said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth Thursday.

“The new process is the result of consulting experts and looking at many options, including what other jurisdictions are doing, so drivers can be confident that others around them are qualified to be at the wheel.?

Here are few of the changes:

  • Extend the current ICBC road test to 90 minutes from 75 minutes.
  • Eliminate the in-office, computer-based screening that?s currently part of the DriveABLE assessment, which many drivers argued was complicated and stressful.
  • Let drivers use their own vehicles, as many drivers said that having to operate an unfamiliar vehicle affects their on-road assessment results.

?The vast majority of B.C. seniors successfully pass the driver’s medical exam,? said Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.?s Seniors Advocate.

?For those very few who are referred for further testing, the changes being implemented by RoadSafetyBC represent a major improvement from the past system and will make the processes much less stressful for those seniors required to undertake a road test.?

?RoadSafetyBC?s new enhanced road assessment for individuals with medical conditions that may affect driving is a huge step in the right direction,? said Holly Tuokko, research affiliate with the  Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, University of Victoria.

?The detailed information provided to drivers concerning the assessment process, the opportunity for preparation before the assessment, feedback during the assessment, and a post-trip review all provide drivers with timely, relevant materials intended to maximize successful outcomes.?

Drivers required to take an ERA will receive it at no cost.


Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!