Nelson-Creston MLA says DriveAble system is ‘disrespectful to seniors’

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  • Apr. 17, 2013 7:00 a.m.

“Not a week goes by that I don’t get a phone call about DriveAble,” said MLA Michelle Mungall.

In Creston for the opening of her election campaign office, Mungall said that the NDP rural caucus has raised concerns about the program to test seniors’ ability to drive safely.

“I think the system is very disrespectful to seniors,” she said.

Initially, she said, DriveAble tests, which can include doctor-supervised questions, a computer exam and road tests, were available only in Kelowna and Vancouver to seniors who lost their licences. The Ministry of Transportation succumbed to pressure and added another 17 testing sites, including Nelson and Cranbrook.

Despite protests and petitions, the government hasn’t made further changes.

“There has been no movement,” she said. “We want more fairness. We have helped many seniors through this process over the last four years, but the obstacle has been the Liberals, who haven’t gone the distance to find a better system of evaluating drivers. …

“We need to explore other options. A limited licence is just one option that needs to be considered.”

The computer test is a sign that the system isn’t working, she said.

“There is an 80 per cent failure rate by those tested, which means something is seriously wrong.”

Locally, a number of seniors have also complained about doctors who have been administering the DriveAble cognitive awareness test, without patients understanding its purpose.

“There is a complaint procedure for those who feel they have issues with their doctors,” Mungall said. “My office can help citizens through that process.”

She said that her campaign office on Canyon Street has more information about DriveAble and welcomes Creston Valley residents to express their concerns.

 

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