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Publishing and promoting ageism, willful untruths and fraudulent misrepresentation

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January 5, 2015

Mrs. Bonnie M. Dobbs PhD, Director,

MARD Centre, University of Alberta,

1704 College Plaza, 8215 112 Street,

Edmonton, AB. T6G 2C8

Dear Madam:

Reference: Publishing and promoting ageism, willful untruths and fraudulent misrepresentation

On the “Homestretch”, CBC radio, December 5, 2014, you stated to listeners:

Starting at about age 70, seniors become the most dangerous drivers on the road“.

1) Please advise us why, with full knowledge you published such an unbelievable statement?

2) On the same broadcast you again quoted the outdated 2001 data concerning the “High Crash Risk”, data which has long since been challenged.

A study dated February 14, 2014 titled “OLDER DRIVERS DO NOT HAVE A HIGH CRASH RISK- A REPLICATION OF LOW MILEAGE BIAS”, authors, Langford J, Methorst R, Hakamies-Blomqvist L., found that most drivers aged 75 years and older and above were safer than younger age groups.


3) A further study published February 4, 2014 by the powerful UNITED STATES INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY have recorded that they were wrong in thinking that an older population would lead to more accidents, when just the reverse has happened.

Their study indicates that from 1997 to 2012 fatal crash rates per licensed driver fell 42% for older drivers and 30% for middle-age ones. 

Looking at vehicle miles traveled, fatal rates fell 39% for older drivers and 26% for middle-age ones from 1995 to 2008. They found the greatest rate of decline was among drivers age 80 and over, nearly twice that of middle age drivers and drivers 70 to 74.  The study was published by Joan Lowry of the Associated Press.  

4) You created a deceptive, misleading profile for the October GREY MATTERS CONFERENCE 2014 as follows

The percentage of seniors with a driver’s license is declining and

the majority of seniors will become ‘transportation dependent”.

After we brought this matter to the attention of SENIORS INFORMATION SERVICES, Alberta Health, who were sponsoring the conference, the profile was withdrawn.

In fact, according to most recent studies, the exact opposite is true. There are dramatic increases in older workers staying in the labor force and continuing to work and commute well past 65. In 2011, over 60,000 Alberta seniors were fully employed in the Alberta labour force.

5) At the same conference, according to provided documents, you again provided further misinformation, the “high crash risk.”, (because you failed to attend the conference, the other presenters then provided this to the conference). The document was titled, “Safety also an important consideration”, which indicated that older seniors are a threat to road safety which is not factual or true.

6) Please advise us why you, who purports to be a research scientist, have repeatedly and publicly made the claim

“A cognitively intact person can easily pass the Simard MD”.

This premise is false.

7) We first became aware of the Simard MD and DriveABlE pilot project in late 2009. It soon became clear to us that there was little correlation between the said testing and the ability to drive.

8) After attending a number of your public presentations, (presentations by Dr. Bonnie Dobbs PhD, husband Dr. Allan Dobbs PhD, Barbara Carstensen ) and taking note of public statements made by Bill Bland, a Director of the DriveABLE Assessment Corp. Inc, we became aware that the professed researchers were blatant untruth tellers. It further became clear, that the Simard MD and DriveABLE pilot project was sustained by deliberate misinformation, half-truths, and untruths.

9) Since 2012, we have strongly alleged and widely published that the Simard MD cognitive test developed by you, (Don Schopflocher) and the DriveABLE computer based test developed by Dr. Allan Dobbs are misleading and fraudulent.

10) In November of 2012 the powerful, private for profit, multi-million dollar, multi-national DRIVEABLE ASSESSMENT CENTRES INC., of which your husband, Dr. Allan Dobbs is a Director and voting shareholder, attempted to threaten and bully us into silence with two CEASE AND DESIST letters.

11) Because we have been so public and outed you, no one, any longer, dares to defend your representations.

12) The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) who for years have actively supported you and published you and your Presentations on their website, have removed you from their website. They have affirmed to us that the premise that a cognitively intact person can easily pass the Simard MD, is indeed false.

13) This falsehood has been the cornerstone of the Simard MD & DriveABLE pilot project.

14) This falsehood has disrupted senior’s lives across Alberta. This falsehood, under the guise of science, research and safety, has caused older Albertans to be subjected to sustained elder abuse. In collusion with those whom you mislead / snookered and those who were willingly mislead, incredible injustices have been and are being inflicted on its’ most trusting citizens.

15) At the GERIATRIC ROUNDS, April 7, 2009 held at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, AB. in regard to disclosure, you dishonestly stated and denied that you had any conflict of interest in the context of your presentation.

16)) At the NTSB PUBLIC FORUM ON SAFETY, MOBILITY AND AGING DRIVERS, in Washington, DC, November 9 & 10th, 2010, you provided ageist misinformation, untruths and promoted the fraudulent Simard MD.

17) At the AUMA CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW, Edmonton, AB. September 26, 2012, you presented the MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT “OLDER DRIVERS”, which is a frightening, ageist document of misinformation. You have now removed this document from your website.

18) February 2013, Nebraska, you promoted your ageist agenda and spoke in favor of a bill for cognitive testing of senior drivers.

19) It is reported in Ontario, “With aggressive marketing Bonnie Dobbs has managed to become a policy maker inside OSMV in BC, inside the Canadian Council of Motor Transportation administrators which affects all provinces, and inside the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Now she is targeting CAA across Canada. Once inside, she uses her influence to promote her protocol while fending off the consensus opinions of the global research community”. RCMPvets website.

20) You have presented misleading and inaccurate information on the University of Alberta MARD website.

We have presented only a brief overview of some of your activities. It is most troubling that you (and your husband Allan Dobbs) present yourselves as respected academics of the University of Alberta.

Thank you

Please allow us to be in receipt of your response by the 12th of January 2015.

Yours truly,

Elder Advocates Of Alberta Society


The Honourable Mr. Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta

The Honourable Mr. Wayne Drysdale, Minister of Transportation

The Honourable Mr. Jeff Johnson, Minister of Seniors

Dobbs, A.R. & Bonnie M. Dobbs. Funding for the project “Injury Prevention Initiative for Medically-At-Risk Drivers in Rural Communities.” Call-A-Rice (CAR) Program-Subsidized Volunteer Driver Program with funding from Health Canada, 2000.

Dobbs, A.R., & Bonnie M. Dobbs. Funding for the project “Clinical Trial of

Dobbs, B. M., Dautovich, N., & Vandenberghe, C. (2003). New group interventions provide help for ‘When you can no longer drive’. CheckUp, 13(7).

Galantamine: Effects on Driving Competence.” Janssen-Ortho Pharmaceuticals, 2000.

Dobbs, Bonnie M., A.R. Dobbs, J.A. Caprio Triscott & M.T. Cave. Funding for the project “Increasing Awareness and Effectiveness of Physicians in Identifying Medically At-Risk Drivers.” Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, 2001.

Dobbs, Bonnie M. and N. Dautovich. “Driving cessation support group study.” Alberta Driver Fitness and Monitoring, Edmonton, AB, February 2003.

Dobbs, B. M., Dautovich, N., Vandenberghe, C., Dobbs, A., Harper, L., Larabie, C., Wood, A., Triscott, J., Juby, A., Moorthy, T., McIntosh, S., & Barnett, L. (2004, March). Dementia and driving cessation: An overview of the development of group interventions for patients and caregivers, and preliminary results. Paper presented at the 6th National Workshop for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Dobbs, B. M., Dautovich, N. D., Dobbs, A., Harper, L., Larabie, C., Wood, A., Bonli, R., Triscott, J., & Juby, A. (2003, November). Dementia and driving cessation: Preliminary results of group interventions for individuals with a dementia and their caregivers. Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the Canadian Association on Gerontology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dobbs, B. M., Dautovich, N. D., Vandenberghe, C., Larabie, C., Harper, L., Dobbs, A., Wood, A., Bonli, R., Triscott, J., Juby, A., & Barrett, L. (2003, May). …and never drive again. Group interventions for former drivers with a dementia and their caregivers. Poster presentation at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Research Fair, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Dobbs, B. M. & Dautovich, N. (2003, March). Driving Cessation Support Group Study. Paper presented at the Northern Alberta Regional Geriatrics (NARG) physicians meeting, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Dobbs, B. M., Dautovich, N., & Vandenberghe, C. (2003). Conceptual framework for assessing self- perceptions of competency for driving and the development of an instrument for measuring self-perceptions of competency for driving. Final Report. CanDrive, a New Emerging Team with funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute on Aging. (1-63).

Dobbs, B. M., Vandenberghe, C., & Dautovich, N. (2003). Scope of practice guidelines, canon of ethics, minimum training requirements, core competencies, supervisory guidelines, and member benefits for supportive personnel in the field of speech-language pathology. Technical Report. Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. (1-259).

Dobbs, B. M., Vandenberghe, C., & Dautovich, N. (2003). Scope of practice guidelines, canon of ethics, minimum training requirements, core competencies, supervisory guidelines, and member benefits for supportive personnel in the field of audiology. Technical Report. Canadian Association of Speech- Language Pathologists and Audiologists. (1-253).

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