Senior Driver Re-exams

Senior DriverI am often asked to write on the topic of senior driver re-exams every time there is a crash where an older driver has mistaken the gas for the brake and collided with a building. People are concerned that many members of this easily identified segment of our society shouldn't be on the road.

The reality is somewhat different. Many times in my service I encountered younger drivers that fell into the same category for one medical reason or another. All are treated equally under the Guides for Determining Medical Fitness to Drive established by the B.C. Medical Association.

Drivers of any age who are possible candidates for re-examination may be identified by police, medical professionals, family and friends to RoadSafetyBC (formerly the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles). The reports may not be made anonymously and the report information is available to the subject of concern.

Only medical professionals are obligated by law to report drivers who fail to obey their caution to stop driving.

When the report is not made by a medical professional RoadSafetyBC will evaluate the circumstances and if necessary cause the suspect driver to undergo a medical exam.

Depending on the result the driver may be limited by restrictions on their driver's licence or their driving priviledges may be ended.

Drivers begin mandatory medical examinations for fitness at age 80 in British Columbia. These continue every second year after that unless a problem is identified that would indicate that a shorter time period is necessary.

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Perhaps the time has come ...

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