Mr. Bill Bland, Vice President of Business Development for the British Columbia driver program DriveAble, was quoted in last week’s Pioneer article ‘Driving test revs up seniors’ as saying, “I don’t want my son or daughter killed by a medically at risk driver.”
Fair enough! Neither do I. But why pick one driver demographic from the pool and work them over the coals when they, in all likelihood, are the less likely group to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle incident?
I have found nothing to indicate that seniors are statistically any more of a risk or danger to others than plentiful, rowdy, lawbreaking clowns in the 18 to 45 age group.
Actually, I believe the opposite to be the truth. If facts or “scientific research” show otherwise, why not bring those statistics forth to support DriveAbles’ worth to the community?
Having said that, I see no reason why our caretakers shouldn’t require elderly drivers who have been assessed with risk factors to take the test, as onerous as it may be in certain cases. Only a silly fool would want to risk disgracing his or her final years, knowing they have been the responsible party in a motor vehicle disaster. I favour the tests, if only for this reason.
But to be fair to all, let’s not stop there. If this test is designed to test, “anyone a doctor or police may have identified as a potential candidate,” as Mr. Bland was quoted as saying, then let’s get the docs to work on this as well as the RCMP.
Put the boys in blue aplenty out on the road to Panorama or anywhere along Highway 93 between Castle Mountain and Radium and pull in everyone they find with cognitive impairment.
If testing for cognitive impairment/functioning (which I take to mean one’s ability to perceive awareness, reasoning, and judgement) is the purpose behind the tests, labs throughout B.C. will be packed to the rafters with subjects showing numerous signs of cognitive impairment.
I’ll bet the north forty that very, very few will be 80-year-olds. And yes, of course, lots of them will bear Alberta addresses.