Dear RoadSafetyBC

RoadSafetyBCWith the tourist season in full swing the traffic flow in our patrol area has increased noticeably. The incidence of really interesting driving behaviours has climbed along with it. Of course, we sit down at coffee and swap stories about what we have seen and shake our heads in amazement. I think I might have heard the best one yet this past weekend.

The constable I was speaking to told me about an investigation that he had conducted with regard to an older male and his driving ability. This gentleman had problems with falling asleep while driving. Knowing this, he always took his wife along so that when he fell asleep, she could wake him up again. What is really interesting is that this lady is blind. The first notice that she had of her husband falling asleep was the change in vibration as the tires left the pavement.

Imagine the pitfalls in this system! This driver is trapped in our driving oriented society. His wife can't drive, and if he were to lose his licence, they are both left living in a rural area with no easy access to transportation to fill their daily needs. In a way, he is forced to struggle to maintain a normal lifestyle.

His choice to continue to drive rather than giving up his licence on his own has placed everyone on the road at significant risk. His family knew about the situation, but was caught in the same difficulty that many face when their parents are no longer able to drive safely. Do they do something, does the family doctor take responsibility, or do we wait for the police to find out and take action?

There is another way. RoadSafetyBC (formerly the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) in Victoria is responsible for taking action when a case like this is brought to attention. One can telephone, fax, write or e-mail to RoadSafetyBC and report a driver who is no longer capable.

The response can consist of a medical examination directive, a road test, or licence cancellation depending on what the problem is.

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Comments

If only...

I realize this item was written a few years back, and I can only say that the situation has deteriorated considerably.

RoadSafetyBC (formerly the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) in Victoria is responsible for taking action when a case like this is brought to attention. One can telephone, fax, write or e-mail to RoadSafetyBC and report a driver who is no longer capable.

The fact is, I've tried reporting a senior who was so out of it he was almost oblivious to his surroundings in a parking lot, and who then exited onto the street ... and drove along it for a couple blocks on the wrong side of the road.  It was only when he got to the nearest major intersection that he seemed to figure out that he wasn't going to be successful attempting to turn left from that traffic light.

So I phoned Road Safe right away, gave them the guy's license plate along with a description of the car he was driving (and a description of the driver), and what did it achieve? Absolutely nothing; without me also being able to provide his name, they claimed they couldn't do a thing.

It's just so damn stupid. Like ICBC or the RCMP, RSBC have the ability to look up information like this just from the license plate, which would be bound to provide them with an excellent idea of who this dangerous driver actually was. 

RSBC aren't completely useless, though. Their Enhanced Road Assessment, designed for testing seniors (with a particular focus on cognitive issues) is very well designed. But I'm guessing that it doesn't get used too much, except when family members (or others with personal information on the decrepit driver) get in touch ... of course, by then it may be too late.

Unfortunately, I Agree

My last experience was in my Three Strikes article. They were only interested in repeating that they weren't interested. No sense reading the e-mail for content and then thinking about it before replying, is there?

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