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Should people have to take special drivers’ licence tests based on how old they are?

PollARMCHAIR MAYOR POLL — Doctors are obligated to notify the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles if a patient is incapable of driving safely. Is it fair to make seniors take special driving tests once they reach 80 years of age? Take the Armchair Mayor Poll on the righthand side of this page.

About Mel Rothenburger (8047 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on Should people have to take special drivers’ licence tests based on how old they are?

  1. Norm Froment // April 27, 2014 at 1:57 PM // Reply

    Every driver who exhibits poor driving should be charged and subjected to a complete driver test. Case in point is anyone who believes there is a stop sign at the end of merge lanes should be charged for stopping and given a driver’s test. Those who constantly change lanes to gain one car length and exhibit other aggressive driving habits should be subjected to a driver test.

  2. Age is the easy way out of the responsibility for who is driving on the road. The renewal of the licence privilege every 5 years should include more than just paying a fee, for that is then, only an easy cash grab. There should also be a road test, possibly a written test, but for sure something to define the other “a” word, attitude.

  3. Your poll question is inappropriate, as octogenarians do NOT have to take special driving tests. They (and I am one) are required to undergo quick, even dilatory, assessments of their medical/physical condition. I see my doctor about once a year or even less frequently, so he has no basis upon which to report to the DMV any decline in my capacity. He is also too busy to assume the DMV’s role, so they must develop their own test of drivers’ physical/neural/mental capacities, the cost of which must be borne by the driver, if he wants a licence to drive.

    • Mel Rothenburger // April 27, 2014 at 1:19 PM // Reply

      The question refers to driving tests because that’s the focus of much of the debate but the requirements do certainly vary from one jurisdiction to another and I guess it partly depends on what you consider a driving test. Maybe “test to determine ability to drive” is a better way of putting it. As stated in the earlier editorial, over-80 B.C. drivers don’t have to take a road test but are subject to cognitive testing which CARP calls too “arbitrary.” In Ontario, drivers over 80 must, prior to licence expiry, book a renewal session that includes a vision test, a group education session, a screening exercise and a driving record review. In Alberta, when a driver reaches 75 he or she must undergo an assessment by a physician. The issue is whether testing should be based on age itself or comparable driving records.

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