I spoke to you last year I think or even before about this over 80 memory test. Now my husband got a letter from motor vehicles re DRIVEable are you familiar?
Anyway to cut this short he went for the test yesterday afternoon, this afternoon our G.P. called and said he cannot drive anymore. He says he is cognitively not able to drive just on this test which he did admittedly not find easy. Okay he failed the test but he has not had anything in writing and what makes us so upset is that he will not be allowed to take a road test. He drives very well has no tickets no accidents and he is 82 and does take medication. Nothing has been said except he failed the test and in a few weeks will get the results. Surely your licence cannot be taken away without just reason?
If you can give me some advice I would be eternally grateful. Maybe they want to get the old citizens off the road?
Justice Minister Shirley Bond, and officials of DOMV have made statements
about this program recently.
Once again I hear the fallacy that "Those identified as having cognitive
problems could be referred for the test"
2 years ago I took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) Test in my doctor's office, and scored 27/30, which is normal.
My wife took the same test this year when she turned 80, and scored 29/30.
Yet we were both ordered to go to DriveABLE for their test, at a cost of over $600 to the taxpayers.
Other people have been ordered to DriveABLE, and have been told they were selected at random.
A public meeting in Cowichan Valley drew 1100 people.
Then we have this statement, "roughly 1,500 people are sent each year"!
With seventeen testing stations, an average of 88 per station.
When I went for my test, they were booked for six weeks ahead. At seven a day, five days a week, that comes to 210. If the test stations only had 50% usage, allowing 50 weeks a year, that would come close to 15,000/yr. It would seems that the actual application of this test is hugely different from the public statements as to how it is supposed to work.
Perhaps my comments about the driveABLE testing were not well stated, but thus far no one has replied to my key question: Is there, or is there not any form of preparation available either on line or directly here in BC, for people required to take the driveABLE test. Not in terms of whether a person has cognitive deficiences or understands or doesn't understand traffic rules etc but more to the point of being comfortable and at ease in placing themselves in front of a machine, pushing buttons, viewing screens and proceeding to do a test. Let's take the nerviousness part of the test out of the equation of passing or failing. Perhaps, most deem that this aspect is not worthy of consideration, unnecessary in fact.
I would argue that it does have some validity, more so for older folk. After all, in order to drive a car in the first instance, we all take driving courses, road drills, prior to taking the driving test. So why not prep for other tests?
I, for one would certainly welcome this opportunity. For anyone reading my commentary, I would certainly recommend if they are of the older generation and/or senior to use the Luminosity website and practice with its screens. This may assist in building confidence in terms of heading into the test situation. I don't doubt that thereafter the actual test will prove or disprove the suitability of a testee to keep on driving.
My apology if I belabour the above point too much, or perhaps contrary to what I am gleaning from seniors, no one is phased by taking the driveABLE test, unaware of what it consists of and how to tackle the test confidently. Yes, the very brief demo video gives one the concept, but I suspect it is kept to a minimum for the key aspect of not wanting to give too much away to the potential user, unless by some miracle they can train to beat the system, should they have some deficiencies.
I rest my case.
I am now brought into this fray regarding computerized driver testing and its impact for us older citizens. It seems to me that salient aspects about driveABLE are sufficient to create failure rather than assist passing for seniors, and I think that the first major hurdle is "how does one prepare for a driveABLE test?" After all, we all study and practice in preparation for all other exams, but as much as I can ascertain there are only snippets of what can be expected at the driveABLE test center. As far as I can determine one cannot take a pre-run test, which if nothing else would allow the person in question to at least intellectually understand what is required and expected of them to gain a passing grade. Thus one can understand the nerviousness of an elderly person in having to perform at a computer kiosk certain required tests, carte blanche, previously unseen, untested; mechanically, emotionally, intellectually. This aspect must play a role in the pass/failure rate.
The following questions are raised:
1. How can one guarantee that they will understand "intellectually" the requirements of each test facit? Can you go back and forth on this with a clerk?
2. Can you do a dry run to see if you understand the test?
3. How long is an actual video driving scenario on the screen, for one to determine a hazard? Can you have a re-run of the video before answering? Is it timed? You either get it or you fail?
4. Multiple choice answers: They can be very confusing to many, if they are close in context to the correct answer. The more you get confused the worse is the answer. NOTE: University students are trained and tested to answer multiple choice questions because there is an art in this. Seniors do not have this luxuory
5. How long do they give you answer a question? Is it a timed exam? One minute over the time allocation, and you fail???
6. What is a passing score? 100%, 80%, 75%
7. What if you and the administering clerk don't get on with each other??? What if there is a language, intrepretation issue?
8. Can you get computer-based driving lessons and skills prior to the driveABLE test at a driving school - so that one has a sense of confidence handling such tests prior to the driveABLE exam?
9. We are told that about 40% of seniors fail this exam. How about the fail/pass percentages for other age groups? Those in their 20's, 30's, 40's. I think this would be very interesting fact to have available.
Finally, we have a lady friend who is now faced with the driveABLE test (not yet a senior). English is not her forté. She is nervous as hell. Can't sleep at nights petrified that she will fail. She is single, alone depends upon her car to get work and shop, and she doesn't have a clue at this moment as to what the test consists of - I can only pass on to her what I have gathered per the above. I cannot on the other hand say one way or the other that she is a competent driver. It seems that the only thing that happened is that another drive wrote a letter to the SOMV in BC that she crossed over a double yellow line, whereupon she received a letter to take the driveABLE test.
We can only hope that she will do her best against a system that doesn't appear to offer any form of pre-run education on how to take this type of test. Or perhaps this is to the advantage of the designers of the system, rather than the would be driver. This is my beef, not whether the actual test program as a concept proves or disproves a persons cognitive abilities
I do have some insight into this issue as I am currently working to disseminate the new SIMARD - Medically At Risk Driving screening test that is mentioned the initial post. I do know that there is a tremendous impact on individuals and their families due to the loss of driving privileges, but having been through U of A Fitness to Drive Training Program and trained on the DriveAble services I do have a lot of confidence that the right people are being appropriately screened and appropriate action is being taken.
The new testing is designed also to provide a standard reference for physicians and healthcare professionals so any bias good or bad is taken out of the equation. Depending on the test results you either clearly pass and retain your license, you clearly fail and it will be recommended that OSMV revoke your license or if you are borderline you are referred to DriveAble for further viso-spatial cognitive testing. If you fail you aren't eligible for a road test as it would constitute a danger to you and the instructor etc and if you pass or are borderline you are sent on to the road test with a DriveWise instructor in a dual control vehicle.
I have seen many videos of these road tests and they are very scary - people drive the wrong way down highways, or accelerate when they see a pedestrian or run red lights. Without the dual controls on the test vehicles, people would have been serious injured during their tests. I was at the an office a few weeks ago and person that had been referred for driver testing called to see if they had been to their appointment that day, they hadn't, but they had already called to see if they had and rescheduled. This was before the MARD test was implimented so I think this person likely would not have been referred for further testing!
The test does not discriminate against the elderly, it screens for early impairment of cognitive function which although rates increase due to prevalence with age are not caused by aging. Accidents associated with elderly drivers are predominately due to cognitive impairment and not a function of normal aging.
It can be devasting to lose the freedom that driving gives you. I hope that along with the support that OSMV and BCMA are giving to promote the changes to the Fitness to Drive Protocols that equal engery is provided to assist people are they have to adjust to their new circumstances in urban and rural settings.
Here is some info on the testing if anyone is interested:
Widespread dissemination of new Fitness to Drive Protocols and education on the SIMARD will go into full swing in the new year.
Here is an interesting study using ICBC collision data that shows graduated de-licensing is a viable solution to drivers whose skills are compromised:
Yes, I am familiar with driveABLE and have had an opportunity to converse with Dr. Allen Dobbs, professor emeritus in the Psychology Department of the University of Alberta. Dr. Dobbs is the creator of the driveABLE program.
The DriveABLE Screen, when used as a case finding tool, is highly predictive of clients who will fail an on-road driving evaluation. This was reported in the article "The DriveABLE Competence Screen as a predictor of on-road driving in a clinical sample" published in the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal in June 2009.
The DriveABLE Cognitive Assessment Test demonstration video will give you some idea of what was asked of your husband. Unfortunately, his results indicated that he was not suitable for an in car test. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is able to revoke his driving privileges based only on this test. You can learn more about this in the 2010 B.C. Guide in Determining Fitness to Drive.
The Superintendent's decision to prohibit may be reviewed by the courts, but I suspect that after this type of driver screening you will have significant difficulty convincing the court to order a review.