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License After $1000 & Year of Stress

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CRESTON ADVANCE

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014

 SENIOR GETS LICENCE AFTER $1,000 AND YEAR OF STRESS

To the editor:

My last letter on DriveABLE tests (April 25, 2013) appeared when I was already into the second round of tests. So, I again had the tests in the doctor’s office, and later the computer and the road tests in Cranbrook: these are payable in advance to the Insight Driving Solutions in Vancouver ($420). Seven weeks later, I got the announcement from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) that I failed: however, if I wanted to pursue this further I should take their letter to my doctor and if he could show improvement in my medical condition they would review my case. The word “medical” does not necessarily refer to the driver’s health: it’s just a word they use along with the DriveABLE testing system, presumably to emphasize that doctors are involved in this, but DriveABLE’s credentials are, even so, rather threadbare.

My doctor did write a letter to the OSMV, and because of that letter and my complaints, the reply from Victoria was favourable. It said, in part, “Having reviewed your case as a whole, I have decided to offer you an ICBC road test re-examination, which will access your functional ability to drive safely. The road test would be conducted in your own vehicle.” At the end of November 2013 I did this on Creston roads-and passed. After one year of continuous stress and spending over $1,000 dollars on the project, I got my driver’s licence back for two years, but next fall I will have to defend it again with a “routine medical.”

Meanwhile, I also looked at the letter to the editor by Deputy Supt. of Motor Vehicles, Stephanie Melvin (April 18, 2013). She wrote, “We have worked with the province’s physician college to ensure doctors refer patients with possible cognitive impairment to the OSMV.” She obviously considers this as something very important and proper. But we see it a little differently. We see this as actually indirect government pressure on BC doctors, and this has been done on behalf of the Edmonton-based DriveABLE company, which presents itself as a champion of road safety, but is in reality nothing more than a pseudo-scientific money making scheme that has been widely disqualified, including by the federal Candrive research team, as something unfit for public domain.

In B.C. DriveABLE is supported by the ruling party that originally imported it from Alberta. But sooner or later, they too will have to recognize that supporting something unsupportable is not smart. According to DriveABLE itself, the tests are passed only by a small percentage of drivers involved: the rest are rejected outright or in a limbo of indeterminacy. Most of those probably could not put up with the stress, and never got their licence back. And all those lose their driver’s license for no truly valid reason. It exploits the elderly, who are often poorly qualified with the ways of intimidating officialdom, and also cannot bear the ongoing stress.

Melvin added, “The combined results of the in-office assessment, on-road evaluation, and the driver’s medical information allows us to make fair decision about the driver’s ability to continue driving safely.” That would be just great if it were true, but it is not true. The way the tests are put together and the way they are administered guarantees failure of over 85 percent of participants: this ratio is very important for DriveABLE company and its shareholders. Without the high rate of failure, it would soon be out of business-it is as simple as that.

I am sure that Ms. Melvin means well, but maybe it is time she had another look to see that all training and testing of young and older drivers can be done through the existing setup of the ICBC, without the dishonest, mean and costly DriveABLE. The present arrangement of a parallel testing system at taxpayer expense is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, and when we think of economic difficulties in the province, the sending of B.C. taxpayers’ dollars to Alberta, borders on insanity or criminality.

 

Anton Skerbinc

Boswell, B.C.

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014

SENIOR GETS LICENCE AFTER $1,000 AND YEAR OF STRESS

To the editor:

My last letter on DriveABLE tests (April 25, 2013) appeared when I was already into the second round of tests. So, I again had the tests in the doctor’s office, and later the computer and the road tests in Cranbrook: these are payable in advance to the Insight Driving Solutions in Vancouver ($420). Seven weeks later, I got the announcement from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) that I failed: however, if I wanted to pursue this further I should take their letter to my doctor and if he could show improvement in my medical condition they would review my case. The word “medical” does not necessarily refer to the driver’s health: it’s just a word they use along with the DriveABLE testing system, presumably to emphasize that doctors are involved in this, but DriveABLE’s credentials are, even so, rather threadbare.

My doctor did write a letter to the OSMV, and because of that letter and my complaints, the reply from Victoria was favourable. It said, in part,“Having reviewed your case as a whole, I have decided to offer you an ICBC road test re-examination, which will access your functional ability to drive safely. The road test would be conducted in your own vehicle.” At the end of November 2013 I did this on Creston roads-and passed.After one year of continuous stress and spending over $1,000 dollars on the project, I got my driver’s licence back for two years, but next fall I will have to defend it again with a “routine medical.

Meanwhile, I also looked at the letter to the editor by Deputy Supt. of Motor Vehicles, Stephanie Melvin (April 18, 2013). She wrote, “We have worked with the province’s physician college to ensure doctors refer patients with possible cognitive impairment to the OSMV.” She obviously considers this as something very important and proper. But we see it a little differently. We see this as actually indirect government pressure on BC doctors, and this has been done on behalf of the Edmonton-based DriveABLE company, which presents itself as a champion of road safety, but is in reality nothing more than a pseudo-scientific money making scheme that has been widely disqualified, including by the federal Candrive research team, as something unfit for public domain.

In B.C. DriveABLE is supported by the ruling party that originally imported it from Alberta. But sooner or later, they too will have to recognize that supporting something unsupportable is not smart. According to DriveABLE itself, the tests are passed only by a small percentage of drivers involved: the rest are rejected outright or in a limbo of indeterminacy. Most of those probably could not put up with the stress, and never got their licence back. And all those lose their driver’s license for no truly valid reason. It exploits the elderly, who are often poorly qualified with the ways of intimidating officialdom, and also cannot bear the ongoing stress.

Melvin added, “The combined results of the in-office assessment, on-road evaluation, and the driver’s medical information allows us to make fair decision about the driver’s ability to continue driving safely.” That would be just great if it were true, but it is not true. The way the tests are put together and the way they are administered guarantees failure of over 85 percent of participants: this ratio is very important for DriveABLE company and its shareholders. Without the high rate of failure, it would soon be out of business-it is as simple as that.

I am sure that Ms. Melvin means well, but maybe it is time she had another look to see that all training and testing of young and older drivers can be done through the existing setup of the ICBC, without the dishonest, mean and costly DriveABLE. The present arrangement of a parallel testing system at taxpayer expense is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, and when we think of economic difficulties in the province, the sending of B.C. taxpayers’ dollars to Alberta, borders on insanity or criminality.

 

Anton Skerbinc

Boswell, B.C.

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