Seniors can be referred for testing after a doctor or police report on their mental fitness. (Canadian Association of Retired Persons)

B.C. seniors to get new driving assessment

Road test replacing DriveABLE computer starting in March

Starting next spring, at-risk seniors and other people with health problems will have a new system for determining if they are still allowed to drive.

The new system will be an extended road test, using the driver’s own vehicle, with an ICBC driver examiner directing a series of driving tasks with increasing complexity.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced the new system Thursday, to replace the touch-screen computer test called DriveABLE that many seniors found complicated and stressful.

The new examination will take longer, 90 minutes instead of 75, to test for cognitive impairment and other medical concerns. It will include a break in the middle where the tester will provide feedback about driving performance.

What the province calls “enhanced road assessment” can be required due to a doctor’s report of a medical condition, a police report of an accident or reports of a previous on-road assessment.

“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 process much less stressful for those seniors required to undertake the test.”

RoadSafetyBC evaluated the driving fitness of 170,000 people in 2016, and 3,000 of them were referred for an ICBC reassessment. Of those, 1,000 completed the DriveABLE test.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino and Ucluelet’s Top 10 sports and arts stories of 2019

Revisiting the Coast’s best sports and arts newsmakers of the past year.

Rent-It Centre takes over curbside collection contract in Tofino and Ucluelet

Rent It Centre’s bid was $25,865 lower than the only other bidder, SonBird Refuse and Recycling.

Tofino’s first cannabis dispensary opens

“I don’t know where it’s going, but happy how it’s gone so far.”

Tofino welcomes much needed veterinarian to town

West Coast has not had a full-time vet since Dr. Jane Hunt surrendered her licence in 2004.

Looking back on the West Coast’s top 10 news stories

Tofino and Ucluelet’s top headlines of 2019.

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

Most Read