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Elder Abuse Alberta

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The Honourable Mr. Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation,
# 324 Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 2B6

Dear Mr. Minister:
REFERENCE: Elder Abuse of Alberta’s older Citizens.

Testing senior drivers constitutes elder abuse.
Requiring a senior,
who Is in good health,
has never had a car accident
who may be fully employed,

to make an appointment with a medical doctor for a medical examination, so that
he /she can renew their driving license, constitutes elder abuse.

It is now widely known that seniors are the safest drivers.
According to Alberta Transportation statistics, seniors are the safest drivers on Alberta roads, they have the lowest casualty rates, they do not cause carnage on Alberta roads, they are not a threat to road safety.

Seniors generally self regulate and therefore are not on the radar when it comes to statistics.

The fact that seniors are safe drivers, has now been reinforced by the powerful United States Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. On February 21st., 2014, Joan Lowry of the Associated Press issued a News Release in Washington

D.C. by the United States Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, stating that they were wrong in thinking that an older population would lead to more accidents, and just the reverse has happened. Their reasons given were; because vehicles are getting safer and seniors are generally getting healthier, the institute said. The marked shift began taking hold in the mid-1990s and indicates that growing ranks of aging drivers as baby boomers head into their retirement years are not making US roads deadlier.

Traffic fatalities overall in the US have declined to levels not seen since the late 1940s and accident rates have come down for other drivers as well. But since 1997, older drivers have enjoyed bigger declines as measured by both fatal crash rates per driver and per vehicle miles driven than middle-age drivers, defined in the study ages 35 to 54.

From 1997 to 2012 fatal crash rates per licensed driver fell 42% for older drivers and 30% for middle-age ones, the study found. Looking at vehicle miles travelled, fatal rates fell 39% for older drivers and 26% for middle-age ones from 1995 to 2008.

The greatest rate of decline was among drivers age 80 and over, nearly twice that of middle age drivers and drivers 70 to 74.

“This should help ease fears that aging baby boomers are a safety threat”, said Anne McCartt, the institute’s senior vice president and co-author of the study.

Alan Pisarski, author of the authoritative “Commuting in America” series, who reports on driving trends states that,

“”The main point is that these 70-80 year olds are really different than their predecessors. They learned to drive in a very different era. They are far more comfortable driving in freeway situations.
This matters immensely for the future because we are seeing dramatic increases in older workers staying in the labor force and continuing to work and commute well past 65”.

Unfortunately there are those who continue to promote the outdated 2001 “high crash risk” data, most notably Bonnie Dobbs of the MARD Centre, U. of A. and Allan Dobbs.
On December 6, 2014, Bonnie Dobbs was quoted on “The Homestretch”, CBC radio,
“Starting at the age of 70, seniors become the most dangerous drivers on the road”. That is a blatant untruth.

A study dated February 4, 2014. “OLDER DRIVERS DO NOT HAVE A HIGH CRASH RISK- A REPLICATION OF LOW MILEAGE BIAS”, challenges the 2001 data.(attached).


The study of 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.

We respectfully ask your office to address this matter.

Yours truly,