Response: DriveABLE

Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, responds to Norm Macdonalds statements on DriveABLE.

I would like to address the blatant inaccuracies written by MLA Norm MacDonald about DriveABLE.  (Seniors not fooled by changes to DriveABLE, May 16).

DriveABLE is not a test for all seniors. It is only for a small number of drivers who have been identified by their physician as having a cognitive impairment. Of 3.1 million B.C. drivers – 84,000 of whom are over 80 – only about two per cent take a DriveABLE assessment each year.

The vast majority of seniors will continue to drive for a long time.

Our government clearly heard concerns from the public about DriveABLE, especially the challenge that travelling long distances creates for seniors.

We are taking steps to expand DriveABLE service centres to better serve rural communities, including a recent expansion of services in Cranbrook.

Another point that must be clarified is that government funding of DriveABLE services is done under a fee for service arrangement.

Independent service providers who are licensed to deliver DriveABLE assessments are reimbursed for their assessments.

These service providers, such as Holy Family Hospital, are certified and licensed to deliver DriveABLE assessments, based upon the same standards that are used across Canada and North America.

This government is committed to ensuring an accessible and fair process to assess driver safety.

It is my goal to keep our roads safe and to help seniors drive as long as safely possible.

Shirley Bond

Minister of Justice and

Attorney General